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ISHWARI  PRASAD,  M.A.,  D.Litt.,  LL.B. 

Reader  in  History  in  the  University  of  Allahabad 

t  The  essence  of  royal  protection  consists  in  protecting 
I  the  life  and  property  of  the  subjects.  They  (kings)  should 
J  use  the  principles  of  justice  and  equality  in  all  their 
A  dealings  with  all  classes  of  people,  and  should  in- 
Jstruct  powerful  officials  so  that  they  may  try  their  best  to 
Irefrain  from  cruelty  and  oppression  in  their  jurisdiction. 



Stcond  Edition 

*fd  and  published  by  K.  Mittra  at 
Indian  Press,    Ltd.,  Allahabad 



I.     Pre-Muhammadan   India  .  ..1 

II.     The  Arab  Invasion  of  Sindh  ..  29 

III.  The  Rise  and  Fall  of  the  Ohaznavidefi  .  43 

IV.  The  Conquest  of  Hindustan            ..  .66 
V.     The  Slave  Dynasty                           ...  ...  74 

VI.     Khilji  Imperialism           .                  .  ...  103 

VII.     The  Tughluq  Dynasty                      ...  ...  132 

VIII.     Break-up  of  the  Empire  of  Delhi  ...  ..  180 

IX.     An  Era  of  Decline         ...                  ..  ,  227 

X     Society  and  Culture  in  the  Middle  Ages  ...  245 
XI.     India    at    the     Opening     of     the    Sixteenth 

Century         ...                ..                 .  .  ...  279 

XII.     Foundation  of  the  Mughal  Empire  ...  293 

XIII.  Humayun  and  Sher  Shah               ...  ...  324 

XIV.  Era  of  Reconstruction  — Akbar  .  349 
XV.    The    Empire    at    its   Zenith— jahangir  and 

Shahjahan    ..                 ...                ...  ...  482 

XVI.     The  Turn  in  the  Tide— Aurangzeb  646 

XVII.    Society  and  Culture  in  Mughal  India       J  .  .  739 


THE  first  edition  of  this  book  was  very  favourably  received 
by  students  of  Muslim  history  all  over  India.  Its  use- 
fulness is  shown  by  the  fact  that  a  second  edition  has 
become  necessary  in  such  a  short  space  of  time.  I  regret 
that  owing  to  other  engagements  of  a  pressing  nature  I 
have  not  been  able  to  add  a  chapter  on  the  later  Mughals  as 
I  had  promised  in  the  first  edition.  But  the  index  has 
been  provided,  and  care  has  been  taken  to  remove  the 
errors  and  discrepancies  suggested  by  scholars  of  history. 
I  am  fully  aware  of  the  imperfections  that  still  exist, 
but  1  Lope  kindly  critics  will  continue  to  favour  me 
with  their  valuable  suggestions  from  time  to  time.  In 
their  appreciation  lies  my  reward  and  in  their  well- 
informed  criticism  my  chance  of  further  improvement 


Dated  August  24^  1931 


HTHE  purpose  of  the  present  book  is  to  provide  a. 
*•  general  history  of  Muhammadan  rule  in  India  up 
to  the  death  of  Aurangzeb  for  the  use  of  teachers 
in  secondary  schools  and  students  in  Indian  Colleges. 
The  want  of  a  book  of  this  kind  has  long  been  felt  The 
older  histories  of  the  middle  ages  by  European  writers 
have  now  become  inadequate  and  out  of  date  owing  to 
the  rapid  progress  of  knowledge  in  recent  times,  tytost 
of  the  errors  based  on  imperfect  acquaintance  with  the 
original  sources  are  repeated  in  all  text-books,  and  the 
student  of  history,  who  aims  at  precise  knowledge,, 
demands  more  than  what  is  contained  in  Elphinstone, 
Lane-Poole^  and  Vincent  Smith.  Excellent  as  they  are 
in  their  own  way,  they  are  found  sketchy  in  these  days* 
The  author  has  kept  the  requirements  of  the  modern 
student  always  in  view,  and  he  hopes  he  has  done  his  best 
to  meet  them. 

The  earlier  portion  of  the  book  is  largely  an  abridge- 
ment of  the  author's  History  of  Mediaeval  India  with 
which  students  of  history  are  already  familiar.  The 
sketch  of  Mughal  history,  which  is  new,  is  fairly  full,  and 
will  be  found  useful  by  those  wly>  will  consult  it,  whether 
for  the  purpose  of  passing  an  examination  or  acquiring 
a  knowledge  qf  Indian  history  under  the  Mughals.  The 
best  authorities  on  the  subject,  original  as  well  as 
secondary,  have  been  utilised,  and  no  topic  of  importance 
has  been  omitted.  Attempt  has  been  made  to  awaken 


the  critical  faculty  of  students  by  discussing  controver- 
sial matters  and  by  presenting  the  views  of  different 
^writers  in  regard  to  them. 

The  advanced  student  for  whom  the  book  is  not 
intended  may  find  it  inadequate  for  his  purpose.  He  will 
be  sadly  disappointed,  if  he  makes  it  a  substitute  for 
•original  sources  into  which  he  must  dive  deep  himself,  if  he 
aims  at  specialised  knowledge.  The  professed  object  of  this 
volume  is  to  present  to  the  reading  public  a  concise  and 
readable  narrative  of  the  achievements  of  our  Muslim 
conquerors,  both  Mughal  and  pre-Mughal,  up  to  the  death 
of  Aurangzeb.  The  author  hopes  to  add  a  chapter  on 
later  Mughals  in  a  subsequent  edition. 

An  important  feature  of  the  book  is  that  the 
narrative  is  not  confined  merely  to  political  history. 
rAn  attempt  has  been  made  to  describe  the  social  and 
economic  condition  of  the  people  at  different  periods. 
The  life  of  a  people  must  be  viewed  as  a  whole  and  to 
enable  the  reader  to  understand  it  fully,  enough  has  been 
said  about  the  growth  of  religion  and  literature.  The 
interaction  of  political  and  cultural  currents  has  been 
-explained  with  a  view  "to  liberalise  the  student's  concep- 
tion of  history  and  to  enable  him  to  develop  a  sense  of 
right  perspective. 

Proper  names  have  been  generally  spelt  according 
to  the  method  approved  by  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society 
and  diacritical  marks  have  been  placed  over  unfamiliar 
names  and  terms. 

My  acknowledgments  are  due  to  my  friend  and  pupv 
Mr.  Ktinwar  Bahadur,  M.A.,  LL.B.,  who  has  helped  me  > 
various  ways  in  preparing  this  book.    Most  ol  the  proo* 
sheets  have  been  read  by  him,  and  hi  the  selection  erf 


illustrations  and  maps,  his  atlvice  has  been  of  considerable 
help  to  me.  Still  there  must  be  many  imperfections 
which  have  escaped  the  author's  notice.  He  will 
gratefully  receive  all  corrections  and  suggestions  for 
further  improvement 



July  26,  1930.  ] 


After  Harga's  death  in  647  A.D.  India  broke  up  into  a 
number  of  independent  states,  always  fighting  against  one 
another.    Most    of  these  were  founded   by 
Break-up  of     Rajput  chief  s  who  were    distinguished  for 

their  valour  and  devotion  to  the  military  art. 
Among  these  warring  states  Kanauj  rose  to 
the  position  of  a  premier  state,  but  even  her  pre-eminence 
was  not  universally  acknowledged  in  the  country. 

Kashmir  was  not  included  in  Harsa's  empire,  though 
the  local  ruler  was  compelled  by  him  to  yield  a  valuable 
relic  of  Buddha.    It  became  a  powerful  state 
Kashmir.  Muktaplda  (725-52  A.D.) 

of  the  Karkota  dynasty,  He  was  a  capable  ruler 
arho  extended  his  dominion  beyond  Kashmir  and  the 
neighbouring  countries,  and  once  led  an  expedition  against 
*;he  ruler  of  Kanauj.  Towards  the  beginning  of  the  ninth 
century  the  K§rkot#  dynasty  declined  in  importance,  and 
was  succeeded  by  the  Utpala  dynasty. 

This  dynasty  produced  two  remarkable  rulers,  Avantivar- 
inan  and  6ankaravarman.  After  the  latte^'s  death  in  902,  a 
aeries  of  worthless  rulers  followed,  under  whom  the  country 
suffered  much  from  misrule  and  anarchy  and  finally  passed 

nto  the  hands  of  a  local  Muhammadan  dynasty  in  1339. 

In  1640  Babar's  well-known  cousin  Mirza  Haidar  Daghlfit, 


the  historian,  conquered  the  valley  and  established  his 
sway.  After  his  death  in  1551  disorder  ensued  and  puppet 
kings  were  set  up  by  rival  factions.  This  state  of  affairs 
was  finally  ended  by  Akbar  when  the  kingdom  was  annex- 
ed to  the  Mughal  empire  in  1586. 

Kanauj  rose  early  into  prominence  after  the  death  of  • 

Harsa.    Yasovarman  was  a  powerful  ruler,  but  his  successors 

were  unable  to  resist  the  aggressions  of  neigh- 


bounng  states.  It  was  the  Gurjara  chief 
(840—90  A.D.)  who  retrieved  the 
fortunes  of  Kanauj  and  built  up  an  empire  including 
the  Sutlej  districts  of  the  Punjab,  the  greater  part 
of  the  United  Provinces  of  Agra  and  Oudh  and  the 
Gwalior  territory.  His  successor,  Mahpnr*rflPHla.  kept  his 
father's  dominions  intact,  but  the  next  ruler 

succumbed  to  the  power  of  the  Rastrakuta  Indra  in  916 
and  although    he  recovered   his  dominions  owing  to  the 
negligence  of  the  latter,  he  suffered  another  defeat  at  the 
hands  of  the  Chandela  ruler  of  Jaijakbhukti.    The  process 
of  decadence  continued   and  the   kingdom  of  Kanauj  los^ 
one  province  after  another.     The  repeated  invasions  of  th 
Muhammadans  further  weakened  it  and  in  1018  A.D.  wh§ 
Mahmud  of  Ghazni  appeared  before  the  gates  of  Kanauj  th 
Pratihar  ruler,  Raivapala.  offered  no  resistance  and  made  a 
abject  submission.    This  cowardly  act  gave  offence  to  h; 
fellow-princes  and  the    Chandela  Rsn'a  Ganda  n^ga™*** 

Ganda's  son  Vidyadhai 

marched  against  him  at  the  head  of  a  large  army,  inflicted 
crushing  defeat  upon  him  and  murdered  him.    Rajyapala' 
successors  vainly  struggled  to  retain  their  power  until  the. 
were  finally  subdued  about  1090  A.D.  by  a  Raja  of  thu 
GaharwSr  clan. 


Another  important  Rajput  clan  was  that  of  the  Chohans 
2JL  Sashay — in  Pfljpntfltin     Ajm6r  was  included  in  the 
principality  of  Sambhar.    The  earliest  ruler 
i)eihi.mer  and     °^  whom  we  have  an   authentic  record  was 
Vigraharaja    IV    better    known    as   Eiaal&- 
flpva  n^mi,  distinguished  alike  for  his  valour  and  learn- 
ing.    He  fought  against  the  Muhammadans,  wrested   Delhi 
from  the  Pratihars  and  established  a  kingdom,   extending 
from  the  base  of  the  Himalayas  to  the  Vindhyas  in   the 
Deccan.    At  his  court   were  produced    the    two     famous 
dramas,  the  Lalitaviqraharq(jn-fnnfrb.a.  and  the  Harakeli- 
which   are  still   preserved     in     the    museum     gt 
He  also  founded  a  college  at  Ajmer  which  was 
destroyed  by  the  soldiers    of    Muhammad     Ghori.      The 
most  remarkable  of  the  line  was  Prithvirajp  whose  deeds 
of  valour  are   still    sung    by    bards    all    over    Northern 
India.     In     1182    he  invaded  the   Chandela  territory  and 
defeated  Raja  Parmal  of  Mahoba.     He  also  nrg-anispd  a  f*on.- 
federacy  of  Rajput  nrincea  whir.h  defeated  the.  Muslim  Jbost 
inrl^r  Mnhammad  Ghori  inJlgJ.    But  the  latter  reappeared 
lext  year  and  inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon  the  Rajputs. 
Prithviraja   wag  captured   and    killed.    The   Hindu   power 
suffered  an  irreparable  blow,  and  yet  Raja  Jayachandra  of 
Kanauj  stood  apart  and  refused  to  combine  with  the  Chohans 
with  whom  he  had  a  family  feud.    Next,  Muhammad  Ghori 
.urned   against  Jayachandra  himself  and    defeated    him. 
Several  members  of  the  Gaharwar  clan  left  Kanauj   and 
migrated    to    Rajputana,    while    the    able    generals    of 
Muhammad  Ghori  completed  the  work  of  conquest  by  reduc- 
ing Gwalior,  Anhil wa^and  Kalanjar.   Soon  after  Qutbuddin, 
the  gallant  slave  of  Muhammad,  was  enthroned  at  Delhi  as 
•the  overlord  of  the  princes  of  Northern  India. 


Two  other  Rajput  dynasties  of  importance  in  Northern 

India  were  the  Chandelaa  of  Javjflkhhnkti  (modern  Bundel- 

khand)  and  the  Kalachuris  of  Chedi  (modern 

deiashe  °han"     Central  Provinces).    The  country  was  called 

ti.  i.e.,  the  territory  or  bhukti  of 

,  one  of  the  earliest  kings  of  the  Chandela  dynasty. 
The  Chandelas  do  not  emerge  into  history  until  the 
ninth  century  when  Nannuk  Chandela  established  a  small 
kingdom  for  himself.  At  first  feudatories  of  the  Gurjar- 
Pratihar  kings  of  Kanauj,  they  became  independent  during 
the  first  half  of  the  tenth  century.  Harsa  Chandela  raised 
the  status  of  the  family  by  helping  the  ruler  of  Kanauj 
against  Indra,  the  Rastrakuta  king  of  the  Deccan,  and  by 
marrying  a  Chohan  princess.  His  son  Yasovarman  was  a 
great  conqueror.  He  captured  the  fortress  of  Kalanjarand 
forced  the  ruler  of  Kanauj  to  surrender  a  valuable  image  of 
Visnu.  He  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Dhanga. 

Dhanga  extended  the  boundaries  of  his  father's  domi- 
nions and*joined  the  Rajput  confederacy  which  was  formed 
by  Jayapala  to  repel  the  invasion  of  Subuktagin,  king  of 
Ghazni.  After  his  death,  his  son  and  successor  Ganda  carried 
on  the.  warlike  policy  of  his  father.  In  1018  when  Sultan 
Mahmud  of  Ghazni  advanced  against  Kanauj,  its  ruler 
Rajyapala  made  an  abject  submission.  Enraged  by  this 
unworthy  conduct  of  their  suzerain,  the  chiefs  of  Northern 
India  combined  against  RSjyapala  under  the  leadership  of 
Ganda's  son  Vidygdhara.  Rajyapala  could  offer  no  resistance 
and  was  slain  by  Arjuna,  the  Kachchapaghata  chief  of 
Gwalior.  When  Sultan  Mahmud  heard  of  this  inhuman 
murder,  he  set  out  from  Ghazni  in  1019  to  punish  the  wrong- 
doers, hn|>-QaTTi^a  fl*H  J"  *hq  "Jgh*  without  encountering 
Mahmud  on  the  field  of  battle.  A  few  years  later  Mahmud 


again  marched  against  him  and  compelled  him  to  sign  a 
treaty  by  which  Ganda  ceded  the  fort  of  Kalanjar  and 
acknowledged  his  suzerainty. 

After  the  death  of  Ganda  the  history  of  the  Chandelas 
is  a  record  of  wars  with  the  neighbouring  states.  The  Kalfl- 
churis  of  Chprii  ftefpatf>rl  the  Chandela  king  Kirt.ivarma- 
deva  and  deprived  him  of  his  kingdom,  but  the  latter  soon 
recovered  his  position  through  the  assistance  of  his  Brahman 
minister  Gopala.  The  Chandela  power  once  again  rose 
to  its  highest  point  under  Madanavarman  who  was  a 
contemporary  of  Kumarapala  of  Gujarat  and  Govinda- 
chandra  of  Kanauj.  Madana's  eldest  son  died  during 
his  lifetime  and  he  was  succeeded  by  his  grandson 

With  Parmardin 's  accession  to  power  the  Chandelas 
plunged  into  bitter  and  prolonged  wars  with  the  Chohans 
of  Delhi.  In  1182  he  was  completely  defeated  by 
Prithviraja  who  followed  him  into  the  heart  of  his  kingdom 
as  far  as  Madanapur.  He  offered  no  help  to  Prithviraja 
and  Jayachandra  when  Muhammad  of  Ghor  directed  his 
arms  against  them.  His  own  turn  came  in  1202  when 
Muhammad's  general  Qutbuddin  attacked  Kalanjar  and 
inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon  him.  Parmardin  hero- 
ically struggled  to  save  his  power  but  he  fell  in  the  fight. 
Henceforward  the  Chandelas  ceased  to  have  any  political 
importance  and  a  similar  process  of  decadence  overtook 
the  Kalachuris  of  Chedi. 

The  Parmar  kingdom  of  Malwa  was  founded  by  Krisna 

Raja  alias  Upendra  in  the  ninth  century   A.D.  The  kings 

of  Malwa  were     originally    feudatories  of 

riM-»£»  Infirm  PITS 

of  Malwa.  the  Gurjar-Pratihars  of  Kanauj  but  towards 

the  close  of    the  tenth     century  Slyak  II 


established  his  independence.  The  kingdom  of  Malwa  in- 
cluded a  large  part  of  the  ancient  kingdom  of  Avanti 
/up  to  the  Narbada  in  the  south.  /Ceaseless  wars  were, 
I  waged  between  the  Parmars  of  Malwa,  the  Chandelas  of 
Mahoba,  the  Kalachuris  of  Chedi,  the  Solankis  of  Gujarat 
and  the  Chalukyas  of  the  Deccan./  Munja  who  came  to 
the  throne  in  974  A.D.  inflictea  several  defeats  upon 
the  Chalukyas  of  the  Deccan,  but  was  himself  fatally 
wounded  by  them  during  the  years  993—97  A.D.  He 
extended  his  patronage  to  men  of  letters,  and  authors 
like  Padmagupta,  Dhananjaya  and  Halayudha  lived  at 
his  court. 

The  most  illustrious  ruler  of  the  dynasty  was  Munja 's 
Nephew  Bhoia  (1010—60  A.D.  )  who  is  known  in  history 
as  a  great  warrior  and  patron  of  learning.  He  was  himself 
a  scholar  and  a  poet,  and  established  a  Sanskrit  college 
at  Dhara  called  the  Saraswati  Kanthabharan,  the  ruins 
of  which  exist  to  this  day.  In  this  college,  he  had  several 
works  on  poetry,  grammar,  astronomy  and  other  branches 
of  learning  incised  on  slabs  of  stone.  The  college  was 
afterwards  turned  into  a  mosque  by  the  Muhammad ans 
Bhoja  also  constructed  a  lake  to  the  south  of  Bhopal  which 
extended  over  an  area  of  250  miles,  the  waters  of  which 
were  afterwards  drained  by  the  Muslim  rulers. 

Towards  the  close  of  his  life  the  enemies  of  Bhoja  be- 
came very  strong.  He  was  defeated  and  slain  in  battle 
by  Kama  of  Dahala  and  Bhima  of  Gujarat.  The  Parmar 
power  steadily  declined  after  Bhoja's  death,  and  the  last 
king  of  the  dynasty  was  compelled  to  embrace  Islam 
by  the  generals  of  Alauddin  Khilji,  who  effected 
the  complete  conquest  of  the  entire  province  in 
1310  A.D. 


After  the  fall  of  the  kings  of  Vallabhi  the  Chapotakas 
or  Chava^as  ruled  Gujarat  for  a  long  time,  but  towards  the 

close  of  the  ninth  century  it  became  a  part 
of  1Gufa°mtnklS  of  the  empire  of  the  Gurjar-Pratihars  of 

Kanauj.  The  Chalukya  princes  at  first  became 
the  vassals  of  the  empire,  but  in  943  A.D.  a  Chalukya  prince 
Mulraja  (960—95  A.D.)  founded  an  independent  dynasty 
called  the  Chalnfrva  dvnaRt.ynfAnahilanat.aVR.  The  history  of 
this  dynasty  is  fully  revealed  in  the  works  nf  r»nn  temporary 
Jain  afthnlara.  Tftfllraja  flonqnered  the.  Parmgrs  of  AbUj  and 
fought  against  Vigraharaja(Blsaladeva  II)  who  defeated  him 
and  devastated  his  kingdom.  Better  success  attended  his 
arms,  when  he  marched  against  the  combined  forces  of  the 
chiefs  of  Sindh,  Cutch  and  Vanthali  in  Kathiawad.  Great 
valour  was  shown  in  this  battle  by  the  prince  of  Abu  who 
fought  on  the  side  of  Mulraja.  Mfilraja  hm'lt  the  prpaj; 
temple  of  %Hr^|^^Halaya  which  was  dedicated  to  £iva  at 
but  he  did  not  live  to  finish  it.  The  installation' 

of  the  deity  in  the  tpmple  was  celebrated  with  great  spjen- 
dnur,  and  Brahmans  from  Thanesar,  Kanauj,  and  other  parts 
of  North  India  were  invited  to  assist  in  the  solemn  ceremony. 
Mulraja  died  in  995  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Chamunda- 
raja  whn  pleiir  mhqH-1eSinHhn|ffia.  theParmar  kin^of  Malwa. 
which  led  to  bitter  animosities  between  the  two  kingdoms. 

Chamundaraja  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Vallabharaja, 
but  he  died  after  a  short  reign  of  six  months.  His  son 
Durlabharaja,  who  was  married  to  a  Chohan  princess  of 
Nadol,  reigned  for  12  years  (1009—21  A.D.),  and  after  his 
death  was  succeeded  by  his  nephew  Bhima  I  who  is  welt 
known  in  the  annals  of  Gujarat 

Bhima  continued  the  bitter  feud  against  the  king  of 
Malwa  and  invaded  his  territory.  He  humbled  the  Parmar 


ruler  of  Abu,  and  made  his  power  felt  by  the  Chohans  of 

But  a  great  calamity  was  in  store  for  Bhlma.  When 
Mflhmpri  of  Ghaani  invaded  Hnj^ygt  in  order  to  seize  the 
vast  wealth  of  the  temple  of  Somnath,  situated  on  .the  sea* 
™ygf  ffgrytli  nf  ftflifriflYfc^  RhTma  tied  from  his  kingdom 
and  sought  refuge  in  a  fortress  in  Cutch.  After  the  depar- 
ture of  the  Turkish  invaders  he  recovered  his  country  and 
rebuilt  the  desecrated  fpmplp  nf  Somnath. 

Bhima  died  in  1063  A.D.  and  was  succeeded  by  his  third 
son  Kama  I  who  established  order  in  the  country  by  subdu- 
ing the  Kols  and  Bhils.  His  successor  Java  Singh,  surnam^d 
ffiflflharsja,  who  came  to  the  throne  in  1093,  is  one  of  the 
most  remarkable  Solanki  kings  of  Gujarat,  He  inflicted 
a  crushing  defeat  on  the  ruler  of  Malwa,  annexed  the 
country  to  his  dominions,  and  .assumed  the  title  of  king  of 
Avanti.  He  fought  against  the  Yadava  prince  of  Girnar, 
suppressed  the  wild  tribes,  and  defeated  the  Chohan  prince 
of  Ajmer  with  whom  he  afterwards  made  peace.  J^iddhfl- 
rjrjfl  was  a  just,  kirul  and  sagacious  ruler.  He  extended  his 
patronage  to  learned  men,  and  ah^wfld  Wm'a]  fay*'""  **»  -T^'n 
scholars,  the  chief  of  whom  was  Hemachandra  or  Herpa- 
Shacya.  He  had  no  son,  and  therefore  when  he  died  in  1142, 
he  was  succeeded  by  Kumarapala,  a  descendant  of  Kama,  the 
third  son  of  Bhlma  I,  of  whom  mention  has  been  made  before, 
jiumarapala  is  by  common  consent  the  most  remarkable 
of  all  Solanki  kings  of  Gujarat.  He  showed  great  respect 
to  Hemachandra  Suri,  the  learned  Jain  scholar,  whom  he 
elevated  to  the  position  of  chief  minister.  KumarapSla 
invaded  the  territory  of  Ajmer  twice.  The  first  expedition 
was  a  failure,  but  in  the  second  the  Gujarat  forces  obtained 
a  victory  over  the  Chohan  prince.  The  rulers  of  Malwa  and 


.Abu  were  defeated,  and  Mallikarjuna,  the  chief  of  Konkan, 
had  to  acknowledge  the  supremacy  of  Kumarapala.  Thus  the 
original  kingdom  of  Gujarat  was  considerably  enlarged,  and 
certain  portions  of  Malwaand  Rajputana  were  included  in  it. 
Kumarapala  was  a  patron  of  learning.  Many  scholars 
lived  on  his  bounty,  but  those  specially  worthy  of  mention 
are  the  two  Gujarati  scholars  Ramachandra  and  Udaya- 
His  minister  Hemachandra  was  a  great  scholar 
Sanskrit,  and  composed  a  number  of  works 

on  history  f-mf*  roiiginyi  xyhinfr  were  dedicated  to  the  king. 
Kumarapala  embraced  the  Jain  faith  through  the  influence 
of  Hemachandra,  and  forbade  any  kind  of  kimsa  (injury  to 
living  beings)  throughout  his  wide  dominions 

Kumarapala  died  after  a  reign  of  nearly  thirty-one  years 
in  1173,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  nephew  Aiaya^ala.  With 
Ajayapala's  accession  to  the  throne  began  the  decline  of  the 
kingdom  which  was  further  accelerated  during  the  reigns 
of  his  weak  successors  Mulraja  II  and  Bhlma  II.  The  last 
Chalukya  king  was  Tribhuvanapala,  a  mere  figurehead,  from 
whom  power  was  snatched  by  the  Baghela  branch  of  the 
Solankis  sometime  about  1243  A.D.  This  dynasty  produced  a 
number  of  kings  who  were  constantly  troubled  by  the  new 
invaders  of  India-  -the  Muhammadans,  The  last  king  was 
who  was  overpowered  by  Ulugh  Khan  and  Nusrat 
,  the  two  famous  generals  of  Alauddin  Khilji,  in  1296, 
and  whose  power  was  finally  destroyed  by  Kafur  in 
1310  A.D.  With  Kama's  defeat  and  death  the  line  of  the 
independent  Solankis  of  Gujarat  came  to  an  end. 

Besides  Rajput  kingdoms  described  before  there  were 
many  others  in  Rajputana  on  the  eve  of  Muhammadan 
conquest.  The  chief  of  them  were 


Jesalmir.    Bundi.    Jalor    anxL  Nadol.     The 


principality  of  Jodhpur  was  founded  after  MuhammacJ 
Ghori's  conquest  of  Hindustan,  and  Amber  (modern 
Jeypore)  and  Bikanir  did  not  rise  into  prominence  until  the 
advent  of  Mughals  in  the  sixteenth  century.  The  Rajputs 
of  Mewar,  Jesalmir,  Ranthambhor  and  Jalor  struggled  hard 
with  the  early  Turks  and  bravely  opposed  them  on  the  field 
of  battle.  An  account  of  these  struggles  will  be  given  in 
subsequent  pages. 

Bengal  as  far  as  Assam  was  included  in  the  empire  of 
Harsa,    but    like    other    provinces    it  suffered  after  his 
death  from  anarchy    and    misrule     In  the 
eiShth  century,  the  people,  tired  of  disorder, 

Bihar  and  elected  Gopala  as  their  king  Gopala  was  a 
enga  "  Buddhist  and  he  reigned  for  nearly  45  years 
over  Magadha  and  South  Bihar.  His  successor  Dharmapala 
defeated  the  ruler  of  Kanauj,  and  his  suzerainty  was 
acknowledged  by  the  kings  of  Afghanistan,  Punjab,  certain 
portions  of  Rajputana  and  the  Kangra  Valley.  He  built 
magnificent  monastery  of Vikramasila.  which 

107    tpTflplpifl  and  fi  ro)1^00  fnr  Hnrat.ifl!L-in 
Devapala,  the  next  ruler,   is  described  as  the 

most  powerful  ruler  of  the  dynasty.  He  conquered  Assam 
and  Kalinga  and  waged  ceaseless  wars  for  the  propagation 

Of  his  faith.      He    received    a^    PT^hasfrgy    frnm    thp    king    nf 

Javajto  obtain  permission  for  building  a  temple  of  Buddha  at 
Nalanda.  Devapala  received  the  mission  well,  and  granted 
five  villages  in  the  districts  of  Patna  and  Gaya  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  temple,  built  by  the  Javanese  king. 

After  a  reign  of  forty  years  the  Palas  were  tempo- 
rarily overpowered  by  the  hill  tribe  of  the  Kambojas.  But 
the  Kamboja  rule  was  short-lived.  MahlpSla  recovered 
the  lost  power  of  his  house  and  sent  a  mission  for  the 


revival  of  Buddhism  in  Tibet.  He  was  a  staunch  follower  of 
Buddhism  ;  he  built  several  buildings  at  Nalanda,  Bodhgaya 
and  Vikramaslla  and  repaired  many  Buddhist  shrines. 
In  1084  Ramapala  ascended  the  throne  of  his  forefathers, 
and  conquered  Mithila,  and  reduced  the  kings  of  Assam 
and  Orissa  to  the  position  of  tributaries  His  son  Kumara- 
pSla  turned  out  a  weak  ruler,  and  he  found  it  impossible 
to  keep  the  power  of  his  dynasty  intact.  Samanta  Sena, 
who  probably  came  from  the  Deccan,  seized  a  large  part 
of  the  kingdom  of  Palas,  and  laid  the  foundations  of  the 
new  dynasty  of  Senas  in  Bengal  towards  the  close  of 
the  eleventh  century  A.D.  Samanta  Sena's  grandson, 
Vijaya  Sena,  conquered  Western  Bengal,  and  firmly  establish- 
ed the  power  of  his  house.  His  successor 

came  to  the  throne  in  ]  155,  and  besides  maintaining  the 
dominion  of  his  father  intact,  promoted  learning,  and 
introduced  the  practice  of  Kulinism  among  the  Brahmans, 
the  Vaidyas  and  the  Kayasthas  of  Bengal.  Brahmanism 
regained  its  ascendancy  under  him,  and  missions  were 
sent  abroad  for  propaganda  work.  Ballala  Sena  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Laligmana^Sfiiis  in  1170.  He  succumbed  to 
the  raid  of  ftlnhnnnmQH  hin  RalrfrHyar  KlvIJ1'  in  1199, 
and  a  large  part  of  Bengal  passed  into  the  hands  of  the 

The  origin  of  the  Rajputs  is  a  matter  of  controversy. 

Historical  ingenuity  has  been  much  exercised  in  determin- 

.  ing  with  precision  the  origin  of  the  Rajputs, 

Rajputs.0      e     and    the    difficulty    has    been    considerably 

aggravated   by   the  lofty  pedigrees  assigned 

to  them  in  Brahmanical  literature  and  the  bardic  chronicles. 

The  Rajputs  claim  to  be  the  lineal  descendants  of  the  Ksatri- 

yas  of  Vedic  times.    They  trace  their  pedigree  from  the 


sun  and  the  moon,  and  some  of  them  believe  in  the  theory 
of  ^qnikula.  ThA  wnrd  Tfajpnt  in  common  parlance,  in 
Certain  states  of  Rajnntana./fe  used  to  rtennt.g  f,hp  illflgiti- 

nriftfP    grnig  nf  n  Kqgfn'yQ  /»hipf  nr  jfigfrdnr        But  in  reality  it 

is  the  corrupted  form  of  the  Sanskrit  word 

*  am'nn  nf  thp  rnyal  hlnpfL'      The  WOrd  OCCUrS  in  the 

Puranas,  and  is  used  in  Ra[pafa  Hgrsachgrita  in  the  sense  of 
high-born  Ksatriya—  a  fact  which  goes  to  show  that  the 
word  was  used  in  early  times  and  in  the  seventh  and  eighth 
centuries  A.D. 

Much  has  been  written  about  the  origin  of  the  .Rajputs. 
Some  hold  them  to  be  the  descendants  of  the  foreign  settlers 
iff  Indja,  while  others  trace  their  pedigree  back  to  the 
Ksatriyas  of  Vedic  times.  Tod,  the  famous  historian  of 
Rajasthan,  started  the  theory  that  fop  Rajputs  w?re  the 
descendants  of  tlje  Scythians  or  Sakas  who  came  into  India 
about  the  sixth  century  A.D. 

European  scholars  have  accepted  Tod's  view  of  the 
origin  of  the  Rajputs.  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  in  his  Early 
History  of  India  (Revised  edition,  p  425),  speaking  of 
the  foreign  immigration  of  the  Sakas  and  the  Yue-chi  or 
Kushans  in  the  second  and  first  centuries  B.C.,  writes  :— 

"  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  ruling  families  of  both  the 
£akas  and  the  Kushans,  when  they  became  Hinduised, 
were  admitted  to  rank  as  Kshatriyas  in  the  Hindu 
caste  system,  but  the  fact  can  be  inferred  only  from  the 
analogy  of  what  is  ascertained  to  have  happened  in 
later  ages—  it  cannot  be  proved.'' 

Dr.  Smith  dwells  at  length  upon  the  effects  of  the  Hun 
invasions,  and  observes  that  they  "  disturbed  Hindu  institu- 
tions and  the  polity  much  more  deeply  than  would  be 


supposed  from  perusal  of  the  Puranas  and  other  literary 
works. "  He  goes  on  to  add  that  the  invasions  of  foreign 
tribes  in  the  fifth  and  sixth  centuries  shook  Indian  society 
in  Northern  India  to  its  foundations,  and  brought  about  a 
re-arrangement  of  both  castes  and  ruling  families.  This 
view  is  supported  by  TV  n  R  T^hanHflrkar,  and  the 
editor  of  Tod's  Annals,  Mr.  William  Crooke,  who  writes  in 
his  Introduction  that  the  origin  of  many  Rajput  clans  dates 
from  the  Saka  or  Kushan  invasion,  which  began  about  the 
middle  of  the  second  century  B  C.,  or,  more  certainly,  from 
that  of  the  White  Huns  who  destroyed  the  Gupta  Empire 
about  480  A.D. 

But  in  recent  times  certain  Indian  scholars  have  attempt- 
ed in  their  researches  to  point  out  the  error  of  Tod  and 
other  European  scholars.  Mr.  Gaurishankar  Ojha  discusses 
the  question  at  length  in  his  History  of  Rajputana  and 
comes  to  the  conclusion  that  the  Rajputs  are  the  descendants 
of  the  ancient  Ksatriyas,  and  that  Tod  was  misled  by  the 
similarities  in  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  Rajputs  and 
the  foreigners  who  settled  in  India. 

One  may  or  may  not  wholly  agree  with  Mr.  Ojha's 
view,  but  it  is  clear  that  the  foreign  tribes  who  settled 
in  India  made  a  fresh  re-arrangement  of  social  groups 
inevitable,  and  as  possessors  of  political  power  they  were 
connected  with  the  ancient  Ksatriyas  by  their  Brahman 

The  theory  of  Agnikula  that  four  Rajput  clans -the 
Jqwar  (Pyamflr)  Pflrihftr  (Prati'l^fir^  Chohan  (Chahumana) 
inri  Snlanki  or  Cfralukva— sprang  frorq  Va6igth£>>g  £**"*&**** 

f  fount    nn  -mnn^    g[Ki]    jp    ^^hoy-fl    Hfljpntanfl.     still    finds 

credence  among  the  Rajputs.     Dr.  Bhandarkar  and  others 
have  found  in  this  myth  a  confirmation  of  their  theory  of« 


the  foreign  origin  of  the  Rajputs.  They  hold  that  the 
Agnikula  myth  represents  fr  rite  nf  purgation  bv  fire,  the 
-scene  of  which  was  in  southern  Rajputana,  whereby  the 
impurity  of  the  foreigners  was  removed,  and  they  became 
fitted  to  enter  the  caste  system.  The  story  of  the  Agnikula 
is  related  in  the  f^rithvlr71^  Rnfinw  The  Rasau,  whatever 
its  date,  contains  many  interpolations,  and  sometimes 
inextricably  combines  history  with  legend  so  that  we  cannot 
accept  everything  that  it  says  as  historical  truth.  The 
fictitious  character  of  the  story  is  obvious,  and  it  is  unneces- 
sary to  adduce  evidence  to  prove  it.  It  represents  only  a 
Brahmanical  effort  at  finding  a  lofty  origiyi  for  tfrgjjgogle^ 
who  stood  very  high  in  the  §pcial  order,  and  whose 
munificence  flowed  in  an  unstinted  measure  to  the  priestly 
class,  which  reciprocated  that  generosity  with  great  enthu- 
siasm. It  will  be  absurd  to  contend  that  the  Rajputs  are 
the  pure  descendants  of  the  Ksatriyas  of  the  ancient  Vedic 
times.  The  original  Ksatriyas  were  mixed  up  with  the  hordes 
of  immigrants  who  poured  into  India  in  the  fifth  and  sixth 
centuries  of  the  Christian  era.  Dr.  Smith  writes  that  some 
of  the  Rajputs  are  descended  from  the  indigenous  tribes 
such  as  the  Gonds  and  Bhars— a  fact  which  is  borne  out  by 
the  distinctions  that  still  exist  among  them.  It  is  too  large 
»an  assumption,  and  is  scarcely  justified  by  the  historical 
data  available  to  us.  There  are  similar  distinctions  among 
the  Brahmans  also,  but  that  does  not  prove  that  certain 
Brahmans  are  descended  from  the  lower  orders  in  the  Hindu 
social  system.  To  make  such  a  generalisation  would  be 
against  all  canons  of  historical  research. 

The  various  tribes  of  the  foreign  settlers  became  so 
deeply  intermixed  with  one  another  in  course  of  time 
that  all  marked  dissimilarities  were  obliterated,  and  a 


-certain  kind  of  homogeneity  was  developed  by  the  adoption 
of  similar  social  customs  and  religious  rites.  The  tribal 
individuality  vanished,  and  a  process  of  amalgamation 
set  in  which  made  scrupulous  differentiation  impossible. 
A  high  feeling  of  chivalry  and  honour,  of  indepeTjd.. 
qnfte  and  patriotism  animated  all  RaiDUtS.  and  this  same- 
ness  had  much  to  do  with  the  fusion  of  the  various  clans 
which  had  ethnologically  stood  apart  from  one  another. 

The  architectural   activity  of  the  Hindus  during  this 

period  was  mainly  confined  to  the  building  of  temples. 

u;The  most  famous  temples  of  the  period  in 

Art  and       Northern  India  are  those  of  Bhuvanesvara. 

Literature.  ,      -i        •  i  i  ^   '  A    ^          *  „ 

built    in    the    seventh    century     A  D.t     of 
'Khajuraho  in  Bundelkhand,  and  of  Puri  in  Orissa.  The  Jain 
at  Abu  was  built  early  in  the  eleventh  century,  and 

is  one  of  the  most  exquisite  examples  of  Indian  architecture 
of  the  pre-Musalman  period.  In  the  Deccan  also  numerous 
.temples  were  built,  the  most  famous  of  which  are  those 
built  by  the  rulers  of  the  Hoysa)?  dynasty.  The  first  at 
Somanathapq?  was  built  by  Vinaditya  Ballala  in  the 
eleventh  century,  the  second  at  Belur  by  Visnuvardhana 
Hoysala  in  the  twelfth  century,  and  the  third  at  Halevid 
built  by  another  prince  of  the  same  dynasty  towards  the 
close  of  the  twelfth  century.  The  Pallavas,  Chalukyas,  and 
Cholas  were  also  great  builders.  The  Pallavas  adorned  their 
capital  Kanchi  with  beautiful  temples,  some  of  which 
belong  to  the  seventh  century  A.D  The  temple  of  Tan- 
jore,  which  was  built  by  R§ja  R5ja  Chola  about  1090  A.D., 
bears  testimony  to  the  skill  of  the  southern  master-builders. 
The  Chalukyas  were  also  great  patrons  of  art.  They, 
adorned  their  capital  Badami  with  magnificent  temples 
-and  one  of  them,  Vikramaditya  II  (733—47  A.D.),  built  the 


>  famous  temple  of  Virupaksa  at  Pattadakal  which  was  prob- 
ably a  recognised  seat  of  learning  in  the  South.  The 
faindn  architecture  is  an  expression  of  the  Hindu  religJOIL 
(To  the  Hindu,  his  whole  life  is  an  affair  of  religion.  It  is 
his  religion  which  regulates  his  conduct  in  everyday  life, 
and  its  influence  permeates  through  the  various  grades  of 
the  Hindu  society.  Nowhere  is  the  religiousness  of 
.the  Hindu  more  clearly  manifest  than  in  his  architecture 
and  sculpture,  for  it  was  through  these,  as  a  distinguished 
Indian  scholar  points  out,  that  he  sought  to  realise  the 
all-embracing  notion  of  his  faith. 

The  temples,  tanks  and  embankments  of  the  Hindu 
kings  were  wonderful  works  of  art.  The  Arab  scholar 
Al-Biruni  writes  regarding  them  :  — 

"  In  this  they  have  attained  to  a  very  high  degree  of 
art,  so  that  our  people  (the  Muslims)  when  they  see 
them,  wonder  at  them,  and  are  unable  to  describe 
them,  much  less  to  construct  anything  like  them." 

Even  such  an  iconoclast  as  Mahmud  of  Ghazni  was 
moved  with  admiration,  when  he  saw  the  beautiful  temples 
of  the  city  of  Mathura  during  one  of  his  Indian  raids—  a 
fact  which  is  recorded  by  his  official  chronicler,  Utbi. 

The  triumph  of  Brahmanism  was  followed  by  an  enor- 
mous growth  of  religious  and  secular  literature.  The 
religious  controversies  of  the  time  produced  an  abundance 
of  philosophical  literature  of  which  the  most  important  are 
the  qflynmentaries  of  aar^kara  on  the 

Brahmasutra.    The  court  of  DhSrS  was 

adorned   by  such  eminent  literary  men  as  Padmagupta, 

ari%irnf  thf>  NnvaAnhafintyfaeharitft.,  nhanRfij^    author  of 

theDa&arupaka,  phanifa^  commentator  of  the  Dasarupaka^ 


commentator  of  Pinoalachhandahsutra  and 
other  works,  and  Amitag;ati,  author  of  the  Subhayi* 
taratnasandoh.  Among  the  dramatists  of  the  period  are 
Bhavabhuti,  author  of  the  Malatlmadhava,  the  Mafya- 
vlracharita  and  the  Uttararamacharita,  who  flourished 
in  the  eighth  century  A.D.  ;  VififtkhaHafi-a,  ant.hnr  of  f.he 
and  BhflftQ  NTsraya^fi,  author  of  the  Venl- 

samhara  (800  A.  D.)  and  Raiasekhara.  author  of  the  Kar( 
puramanjan  and  other  works,  who  wrote  in  the  early 
part  of  the  tenth  century  A.D. 

'^     The  Kavya  literature  also  deserves  a  passing  mention 

\».  a  well-known  work  which  draws 

its  materials  from  the  Mahabharata,  and  describes  the  story 
of  the  destruction  of  6isupala  by  Krisna.  Another  mahakavycn 
of  importance  is  the  Naisadhacharita  of  &ri  JHarga  (1150 
A.D.)  who  wrote  probably  under  the  patronage  of  Jaya- 
chandra  of  Kanauj.  Besides  the  Kavyas  proper  there  were 
written  during  this  period  historical  Kavyas.  Among  them 
the  most  remarkable  are  the  Navasahasankacharita  of 
Padmapnpta  who  was  a  court  poet  of  the  king  of  Dhara, 
and  of  whom  mention  has  previously  been  made  and  the 
Vikramankacharita  of  Bilhana  written  to  commemorate 
the  exploits  of  Vikramaditya  VI,  the  Chalukya  ruler  of 
Kalyan.  The  most  remarkable  historical  work  in  verse  is 

composed  in  the  middle  of  the 

twelfth  century  A.D.  KalhaJljajvas  a  well-educated  native 
of  Kashmir  who  had  taken  part  in  the  politics  of  his  coun- 
try* and  who  was  fully  conversant  with  its  affairs.  He 
attempts  to  give  his  readers  a  complete  history  of  Kashmir,. 
and,  though  like  all  mediaeval  frifitaringrfrphers  he  combiner 
faf*  with  fif*tjnnT  he  sincerely  endeavours  to  consult  the 
varied  sources  of  history.  Among  the  lyrical  poets  the  mqst 
F.  2 


remarkable  is  Jayadeva,  the  author  of  the  Gita  Govinda, 
who  flourished  in  Bengal  in  the  twelfth  century,  and  of 
whom  mention  will  be  made  in  another  chapter. 

The  institution  of  caste  existed.  The  superiority  of  the 
Brahmans  was  acknowledged  and  the  highest  honours 
Social  Life  were  accorded  to  them  by  kings  as  well  as 
the  common  people.  But  the  Rajputs  were 
no  less  high  in  the  social  scale.  Brave  and  warlike,  the 
Rajput  was  ever  devoted  to  the  championship  of  noble 
causes.  Tod  has  in  his  masterly  way  delineated  the 
character  of  the  Rajput  in  these  words  :  /"  High  courage, 
patriotism,  loyalty,  honour,  hospitality  and  simplicity  are 
qualities  which  must  at  once  be  conceded  to  them ;  and 
if  we  cannot  vindicate  them  from  charges  to  which  human 
nature  in  every  clime  is  obnoxious ;  if  we  are  compelled 
to  admit  the  deterioration  of  moral  dignity  from  the 
continual  inroads  of,  and  their  subsequent  collision  with, 
rapacious  conquerors  ;  we  must  yet  admire  the  quantum  of 
virtue  which  even  oppression  and  bad  example  have  failed 
to  banish.  The  meaner  vices  of  deceit  and  falsehood,  which 
the  delineators  of  national  character  attach  to  the  Asiatic 
without  distinction,  I  deny  to  be  universal  with  the 
Rajputs,  though  some  tribes  may  have  been  obliged  from 
position  to  use  these  shields  of  the  weak  against  continuous 
oppression.  "l/  The  Rajput  had  a  high  sense  of  honour  and 
a  strict  regard  for  truth.  He  was  generous  towards  his 
foes,  and  even  when  he  was  victorious,  he  seldom  had 
recourse  to  those  acts  of  barbarity  which  were  the  inevitable 
concomitants  of  Muslim  conquest  He  never  employed 

1  Tod's  Annals  and  Antiquities  of  Raj  as  than,  edited    by  Crooke, 
II,  p.  744. 


•deceit   or   treachery   in    war  and   scrupulously  abstained 
from  causing  misery  to  the  poor  and  innocent  people.    The 
test  of  the  civilisation  of  a  community,    writes  a  great 
thinker,  is  the  degree  of  esteem  in    which  women  are 
held  in  it.    Tfr$  Rajput  honnnrftd  his  women,   and  though 
their  lot  was  one  of  "  appalling  hardship  "  they  showed 
wonderful  courage  and  determination  in  times  of  difficulty, 
and   performed  deeds  of  valour  which   are    unparalleled 
in  the  history  of  the  world.    Their  devotion  to  their  hus- 
bands,   their    courage    in  moments  of   crisis — and  these 
were    unfortunately   many    in    a    Rajput   woman's    life — 
and  their  fearless  example  exercised  a  healthy  influence 
on  Rajput  society  in  spite  of  the  apnlnsjn^  fn  whinh  they  we^p 
Jiapt.  But  their  noble  birth,  their  devotion  to  their  husbands, 
their  high  sense  of  honour,  and  their  conspicuous  resource- 
fulness and  courage  all  combined  to  make  their  lives  highly 
uncertain.    The  custom  of  "  Jauhar  "  or  self-immolation— 
though  its  cruelty  seems  revolting  to  us— had  its  origin  in 
that  high  feeling  of  honour  and  chastity,  which  led  Rajput 
women  to  sacrifice  themselves  in  the  extremity  of  peril,  when 
the  relentless  invaders  hemmed  in  their  husbands  on  all 
sides,  and  when  all  chances  of  deliverance  were  lost. 

But  if  the  virtues  of  the  Rajputs  are  patent,  their 
faults  are  equally  obvious.  Their  inconstancy  of  temper, 
their  liability  to  emotion  or  passion,  #LGJV  oltH>fooling, 
their  Cfjpf fvial  frnffoj  their  UBS  of  opium,  their  incapacity 
to  present  a  united  front  to  the  common  enemy— all  these 
placed  them  in  a  highly  disadvantageous  position,  when 
they  were  matched  against  foes  of  tougher  stuff.  The 
pjflf.Hn.ft  nf  infantif»j(fa  was  common  amongst  them,  and 
female  children  were  seldom  suffered  to  exist  even  in  the 
/most  respectable  families.  Equally  baneful  was  the  custom 


of  Sati  which  resulted  from  time  to  time  in  the  deaths* 
of  a  number  of  women  in  royal  households  which  were 
universally  polygamous.  The  practice  became  so  common 
that  even  womeil_nf  nrdinnry  status  burnt  themselves  to 
death  ao.mfftMea  of  t]lftir  nwn  free  will,  but  more  often 
under  the  pressure  nf  parents  ^pfl  kinsmen^obsessed  by  a 
false  notion  of  family  pride.  The  Rajput  never  had  re- 
course to  treachery  or  deceit  in  time  of  war  and  dealt  fairly 
and  honourably  with  his  enemies.  His  wars  did  not  disturb 
the  ordinary  husbandman  in  the  peaceful  pursuit  of  his 
occupation.  Sieges,  battles,  massacres— all  left  him  un- 
moved with  the  result  that  he  became  completely  indifferent 
to  political  revolutions,  and  readily  transferred  his  allegiance 
from  one  king  to  another. 

The  Hindu  society  was  stirred  by  the  religious  move- 
ments of  reformers  like  Ramanuiacharva,  who  preached 
the  cult  of  bhaktL  and  whose  teachings  marked  a  reaction 
against  Sahara's  Advaita  philosophy.  He  preached  against 
Sankara's  Vedanta  and  laid  stress  upon  the  attributes  of  a 
personal  god  who  could  be  pleased  by  means  of  bhakti  or 
^devotion.  Hejgrmed  a  link  between  the  nprtl)  and  south, 
and  succeeded  in  establishing  his  spiritual  hegemony  over 
a  considerable  body  of  Hindus  in  both  parts  of  the  country. 
Pilgrimages  became  common,  and  men  moved  about  visiting 
Isacred  places—a  fact  which  imparted  a  great  stimulus  to 
the  deep  religious  fervour  which  was  at  this  time  a  remark- 
able feature  of  Hindu  society.  Svayamvaras  were  not 
frequently  held,  the  last  recorded  one  of  importance  being" 
that  of  the  daughter  of  Jayachandra  of  Kanauj,  but  Sati  was 
common,  and  in  beleaguered  fortresses  and  cities  no  mercy 
was  shown  to  the  weaker  sex,  when  it  fell  into  the  hands  of 
the  enemy. 


The  government  of  the  Rajputs  was  of  a  feudal  charac- 
ter.   The  kingdom  was  divided  into  estates  or  fiefs  held 

by  JaglrdSrs,  who  were  often  of  the  same 
Go^mLeirt*      family    as   the    prince.    The    strength    and 

security  of  the  state  depended  upon  their 
loyalty  and  devotion.  The  khalsa  land  of  the  state  was 
directly  under  the  prince  and  was  administered  by  him. 
The  nobles  or  their  vassals  were  divided  into  several  classes, 
and  the  etiquette  of  each  class  was  prescribed  by  imme- 
morial usage  which  was  scrupulously  observed.  The  chief 
source  of  income  was  the  revenue  from  the  khalsa  lands 
which  was  further  increased  by  taxes  on  commerce  and 
trade.  The  vassals  or  fief-holders  of  the  prince  had  to 
render  military  service,  when  they  were  called  upon  to 
do  so.  They  loved  and  honoured  their  prince  and  cheerfully 
followed  him  to  the  field  of  battle.  They  were  bound 
to  him  by  ties  of  pgr^opa}  Devotion  and  service,  and  were 
ever  anxious  to  prove  their  fidelity  in  times  of  difficulty 
or  danger.  No  price  could  purchase  them,  and  no  tempta- 
tion could  wean  them  away  from  their  chief.  These  feudal 
barons,  if  we  may  so  call  them,  had  to  make  payments 
to  their  chief  resembling  very  much  the  feudal  incidents 
qf  iriPdlflPval  F.nrftpp  The  knight's  fee  and  scutage  were 
not  unknown  ;  feudal  obligations  were  mutually  recognised, 
and  we  often  find  that  greedy  rulers  had  recourse  to 
scutage  to  obtain  money.  Such  government  was  bound 
to  be  inefficient.  It  fostered  individualism,  and  prevented 
the  coalition  of  political  forces  in  the  state  for  a  common 
end.  The  king  was  the  apex  of  the  system,  and  as  long  as 
he  was  strong  and  powerful,  affairs  were  properly  managed, 
but  a  weak  man  was  soon  reduced  to  the  position  of  a  poli- 
tical nullity.  The  internal  peace  of  the  state  often  depended 


upon  the  absence  of  external  danger.  When  there  was  no 
fear  of  a  foreign  foe,  the  feudal  vassals  became  restless,  and 
feuds  broke  out  between  the  various  clans  with  great 
violence,  as*  is  shown  by  the  feuds  of  the  clans  of  Chondawat 
and  Saktawat  in  the  seventeenth  century  in  the  time  of 

The   Deccan 

The  Chalukyas,  who  were  a   family  of  Rajput  origin, 

entered  the  Deccan  in  the  sixth  century  A.D.    The  most 

remarkable  of  the  line  was  ^ilflkfiff1*11  T{  who 

lukyas6  °  h  a"     ascended  the  throne  in  611  A.D.     He  waged 

ceaseless  wars  against  the  rulers  of  Gujarat, 

Raj  put  an  a,  Malwa  and  Konkan  and  annexed  the  territories 

of  the  Pallavas  of  Vengi  and  Kanchipura.     His  brother,  who 

was  originally  appointed  as  the  viceroy  of  the  conquered 

territories,  founded  a  separate  kingdom  known  in  history  as 

that  of  the  Eastern  Chalukyas.    In   fi2Q  A.D.     Pulakesin 

of  Kanaii].  an  achievement 

which  was  considered  a  remarkable  feat  of  valour  by  his 

contemporaries.    The  Cholas  and  Pandyan  nlnn  mtfrpd  into 

jjendly    relations    wfr.h   Pnlnlcftain-    The  Chinese  pilgrim 

iuen  Tsang  who    visited  the  Deccan    in  639  A.D.  was 

much  impressed  by  his  power  and  greatness. 

But  the  perpetual  wars  of  Pulakesin  implied  a  heavy 
strain  upon  the  military  and  financial  resources  of  his 
empire.  The  Pallavas  under  Narasinhavarman  inflicted 
a  crushing  defeat  upon  Pulakesin.  Pulakesin's  son  Vikra- 
mSditya  declared  war  upon  the  Pallavas  and  seized  their 
capital  K&nchl,  and  the  struggle  went  on  with  varying 
success  until  a  chieftain  of  the  RSgtrakuta  clan  supplanted 
the  jx>wer  of  the  Chalukyas. 


The   Rggtraknfas   werfl   originally  inhfl.hitfl.nta  nf 

and  are  mentioned  in  the  inscriptions  of  A£oka 
Rasfcra-  as  ^attas  or  Rathikas.  Formerly  they  were 
a"ra  subject  to  the  Chalukyas  of  Bad  ami,  but 
Dantidurga  had  established  his  independence 
after  defeating  the  Chalukya  ruler  Klrttivarman  II.  Danti- 
durga died  childless,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  uncle  Krisna  1 
who  considerably  increased  the  territories  inherited  from 
his  nephew.  Krigpa  erected  the  beautiful  rocWnt  tfiT^P1^ 
of  &va  at  Ellnra.  His  successors  further  extended  their 
dominions  by  their  conquests.  Amoghavar§a  who  came 
to  the  throne  in  815-16  A.  D.  ruled  over  all  the  territories 
included  in  the  kingdom  of  Pulakesin  II.  He  defeated 
the  Chalukyas  of  Vengi  and  founded  the  new  capital 
Manyakheta  or  Malkhed  in  the  Nizam's  dominions.  Amogha- 
varsa  professed  the  Jain  faith.  He  extended  his  pat- 
ronage to  Jain  scholars,  and  it  is  said  that  an  important 
work  on  the  philosophy  of  the  Jains  of  the  Digambara 
sect  was  written  during  his  reign.  Amoghavarsa  retired 
from  public  work  in  his  old  age,  and  was  succeeded  by 
his  son  Krisna  II  who  had  married  a  daughter  of  the 
Chedis  of  Dahala.  Krisna's  successor  Indra  III  allied 
himself  with  the  Chedis  by  means  of  marriage,  and  with 
their  aid  he  invaded  the  territories  of  the  Gurjar-Pra- 
tihars.  He  invaded  Malwa,  conquered  Ujjain,  and  his 
troops  ravaged  the  Gangetic  plain.  The  Ra?frakutas  of 
Gujarat  were  reduced  to  submission,  and  the  Gurjar- 
Pratihars  lost  their  power  owing  to  his  ceaseless  attacks. 

Under  the  successors  of  Indra  III  the  power  of  the 
Rastrakutas  declined.  They  exhausted  their  treasure  on 
wars  and  thus  crippled  their  resources.  The  Chalukyas 
gained  fresh  strength,  and  the  last  RS§trakut»  monarch 


was  defeated  and  killed  in  battle  by  Tailapa  II  in  982 

A  new  dynasty  known  as  the  Chalukyas  of  Kalyani 
was  founded,  and  the  house  of  Rastrakufras  under  whom 
the  temple  at  Ellura  and  frescoes  of  Ajanta  were  built) 
and  commercial  relations  with  the  Arabs  were  maintained 
came  to  an  end. 

Tailapa  II  proved  a  powerful  and  energetic  ruler.    He 

brought  all  the  territories  over  which  the  Chalukyas  had 

once    ruled    under   his  sway,   and  defeated 

The  Western     Munja,  the  Parmar  Raja  of  Dhara.    Tailapa 

Ohalukyas     of  .  •       •«••«• 

found  a  formidable  adversary  in  Raja  R5ja 

Chola  who  harried  the  Vengi  territory  after 
his  death.  But  Tailapa's  successor  Somesvara,  'the 
wrestler  in  battle/  defeated  the  reigning  Chola  king,  and 
also  made  successful  attacks  upon  Dhara  and  Ranch!. 
Vikramaditya  VI  who  ascended  the  throne  in  1076  had  an 
unusually  peaceful  reign  of  fifty  years.  Art  and  literature 
flourished  under  him.  Bilhana.  the  poet,  and  the  famous 
jurist  Viift5neshwaraT  the  author  of  the  Mitaksara.  both 
wrote  their  works  during  his  reign.  After  the  death  of 
Vikrama  the  power  of  the  Chalukyas  began  to  decline 
rapidly.  Bijjala,  a  former  minister  of  Tailapa,  usurped 
authority  and  founded  a  new  dynasty. 

The  usurpation  of  BijjSla  coincided  with  the  revival  of 
J§iva  worship.  Basava  was  the  leader  of  the  new  movement. 
The  Lingayat  sect  flourished,  gathered  strength  and  consi- 
derably weakened  the  hold  of  Buddhism  and  Jainism.  The 
Chalukyas  tried  once  again  to  grasp  the  sceptre,  but  were  un- 
able to  do  so.  The  Deccan  was  divided  between  the  Ysdavas 
with  their  capital  atuDexagir*  the  KSkatiyas  at  Warangal 
and  th$  HoxsalaJBall&la^who  ruled  at  DwSrsamudra. 


These  three  powers  contended  for  supremacy  in  the 
Deccan  with  the  result  that  they  weakened  themselves 
paved  the  way  for  the  Muhammadans. 

the  famous  general  of  Alauddin  Khilji,  defeated  the 
powerful  Yadava  ruler  and  compelled  the  Kakatiyas  and 
the  Ballalas  to  render  allegiance  to  Delhi. 

In  the  earliest  times  there  were  three  important   king- 
doms in  the  Far  South,  namely,  the  PanHvar  th?  flbpla  and 

The  Pandya  kingdom 

m^  _    0     t       f 

The  Par  South. 

covered  the  area  now  occupied  by  the  Madura 
and  Tinnevelly  districts  with  portions  of  Trichinopoly  and 
Travancore  state.  The  Chola  kingdom  extended  over 
Madras  and  several  other  British  districts  on  the  east  as 
well  as  the  territory  now  included  in  the  Mysore  state. 
The  limits  of  the  principality  of  Chera  or  Kerala  cannot  be 
defined  with  precision,  but  scholars  are  of  opinion  that  it 
included  approximately  the  Malabar  districts  ajid  the  greater 
part  of  the  Cochin  and  Travancore  states.  The  three  king- 
doms enjoyed  a  position  of  power  and  influence  during  the 
•centuries  before  the  Christian  era,  and  had  trade  relations 
with  ancient  Rome  and  Egypt  But  in  the  second  century 
A.D.  a  new  power  rose  into  prominence  and  that  was  of 
the  Pallavas,  who  ruled  over  the  Telugu  and  west-coast 
districts  from  Vengipura  and  Plakaddu  (PalghSt)  respec- 
tively. They  gradually  increased  their  power  in  South 
India,  overpowered  the  ancient  kingdoms,  and  came  into 
•conflict  with  the  Chalukyas.  The  Chalukya  king,  Pulakesin 
II,  inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon  the  Pallava  ruler, 
Mahendravardhan  I,  and  annexed  the  Vengi  province  to 
his  dominions.  Exasperated  at  the  loss  of  an  important 
part  of  their  territory,  the  Pallavas  organised  their  forces, 
and  paid  the  Chalukya  king  in  his  own  coin  next  year, 


These  dynastic  feuds  were  inherited  by  the  R2$trakQt»s,. 
when  they  supplanted  the  Chalukyas  in  the  Deccan  in  the 
middle  of  the  eighth  century  A.D.  Before  the  continued 
attacks  of  a  youthful  and  vigorous  dynasty,  which  had 
just  emerged  on  the  stage  of  history,  the  Pallavas  found  it 
difficult  to  defend  themselves.  Internal  disorder  together 
with  the  rebellion  of  the  Southern  Gangas  accelerated  the 
decline  of  the  Pallavas  ;  and  the  supremacy  of  the  South 
passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Cholas,  and  Raja  Raja  Chola, 
who  assumed  sovereign  authority  in  985  A.D.,  extended 
his  conquests  far  and  wide.  By  the  end  of  1005  A.D.  he 
defeated  all  his  rivals,  and  built  for  himself  a  magnificent 
empire.  But  the  incessant  strain  of  war  proved  too  great 
even  for  this  mighty  ruler  of  the  South,  and  in  1011  A.D. 
he  sheathed  his  sword  with  pleasure,  and  devoted  himself 
to  the  task  of  organising  the  administration.  His  son 
Rajendra  Chqla  (1018—1042  A.D.)  was,  in  accordance  with 
the  Chola  custom,  associated  with  him  in  the  administration 
of  the  affairs  of  the  kingdom.  He  turned  out  an  able  ruler 
and  vigorously  carried  on  the  warlike  policy  of  his  father. 
His  arms  penetrated  as  far  as  the  territory  now  occupied 
by  the  provinces  of  Prome  and  Pegu  in  modern  Burma, 
and  Bengal  in  the  east.  Orissa  was  overrun,  and  the 
Andaman  and  Nicobar  Islands  were  also  conquered. 
The  Gangas  of  Mysore,  who  had  given  much  trouble  to 
the  Pallavas,  were  also  subdued ;  and  this  astute 
ruler  consummated  his  policy  of  aggrandisement  by 
forming  a  matrimonial  alliance  with  the  Chalukya  ruler 
of  Kalyaiil,  who  was  a  formidable  rival.  The  offspring 
of  this  marriage  was  Kulottunga  I  (1070—1118  A.D.)  wha 
united  in  his  person  the  power  of  the  Cholas  and  the 


After  the  death  of  Rajendra,  the  Chola  kingdom  began 
to  decline  ;  and  the  neighbouring  powers  who  had  suffered 
much  at  the  hands  of  its  rulers  now  arrayed  their  forces 
against  it.  The  Chola  ruler  was  defeated  by  the  Chalukya 
army,  and  this  defeat  led  to  the  defining  of  the  Chalukya 
and  Chola  frontiers.  The  Pandyas,  the  Cheras,  and  the 
Gangas  withheld  their  allegiance,  and  the  confusion  into 
which  the  kingdom  had  fallen  is  illustrated  by  the  fact 
that  several  rulers  occupied  the  throne  in  quick  succession 
only  to  be  removed  from  power,  either  by  military  force 
or  by  assassination.  In  1070  A.  D.  Somesvara  II  and  his 
younger  brother  Vikramaditya  contended  for  succession 
to  the  Chalukya  throne,  while  Vlra  Rajendra  Chola  had  a 
powerful  rival  in  Rajendra  Chola  of  the  Eastern  Chalukya 
dynasty.  Vikramaditya  won  a  victory  in  this  civil  war ; 
he  seized  the  Chalukya  throne,  and  restored  his  brother- 
in-law  5dhi-Rajendra  Chola  to  his  patrimony.  But  Adhi- 
Rajendra  who  depended  entirely  upon  Chalukya  support 
failed  to  win  the  confidence  of  his  subjects,  and  was  shortly 
afterwards  assassinated  He  left  no  male  heir,  and,  there- 
fore, the  crown  passed  to  Rajendra  Chalukya  who  is  better 
known  as  Kulottunga  I  (1070—3118  A.D.). 

Kulottunga  I,  who  was  a  capable  ruler,  established 
complete  tranquillity  throughout  his  wide  dominions.  He 
made  large  conquests,  but  he  is  distinguished  from  his 
predecessors  by  the  care  which  he  bestowed  upon 
the  organisation  of  the  administration  on  a  sound  and 
efficient  basis.  Towards  the  close  of  his  reign,  the  Hoysala 
Prince  Bitti  Deva,  otherwise  known  as  Vignuvardhana 
(1100—1141  A.D.),  drove  out  the  Chola  governors  from 
the  Ganga  territory,  and  before  his  death,  established  his 
sway  over  the  country  now  covered  by  the  Mysore  state. 


The  Pandyas,  meanwhile,  developed  their  power,  and 
the  Chola  empire  had  to  bear  the  blows  of  the  Hoysalas, 
the  KSkatiyas,  and  the  Pandyas.  The  last  powerful  ruler 
of  the  Pandya  dynasty  was  Sundaram  Pandya, J  who  died 
in  1293  A.D.  after  having  conquered  the  whole  Tamil  cpun- 
try  and  Ceylon.  The  great  Venetian  traveller  Marco  Polo, 
who  visited  South  India  in  the  thirteenth  century,  speaks  of 
the  great  wealth  and  power  of  the  Pandya  king.  But  in 
1310  A.D.  Kafur's  raids,  backed  by  the  fanaticism  of  the 
entire  Muslim  community,  destroyed  the  political  system  of 
the  South,  and  plunged  the  whole  country  into  a  state  of 
utter  confusion.  The  Chola  and  Pandya  kingdoms  rapidly 
declined  in  power,  and  were  finally  destroyed  by  Muslim 
attacks.  The  Deccan  was  not  united  again  until  the  rise 
of  the  Vijayanagar  kingdom  in  1336  A.D. 

Marco  Folo  found  him  ruling  at  Madura. 



The  earliest  Muslim  invaders  of  Hindustan  were  not 
the  yqrka  hnt  tha  Amhar  who  issued  out  from  their  desert 
homes  after  the  death  of  the  great  Arabian 
The  Arabs.  prophet  to  enforce  belief  at  the  point  of  the 
which  was,  according  to  them,  "  jhe  kev  of  heaven 
Wherever  they  went,  plunder,  destruction  and 
cruelty  of  a  most  wanton  type  marched  in  their  train. 
Their  virility  and  vigour  enabled  them  to  make  them- 
selves masters  of  Syria,  Palestine,  Egypt  and  Persia  within 
a  short  space  of  twenty  years.  The  conquest  of  Persia 
made  them  think  of  their  expansion  eastward,  and  when 
they  learnt  of  the  fabulous  wealth  and  idolatry  of  India 
from  the  merchants  who  sailed  from  Shiraz  and  Hurmuz 
and  landed  on  the  Indian  coast,  they  recked  little  of  the 
difficulties  and  obstacles  which  nature  placed  in  their  way, 
and  resolved  on  an  expedition  to  India.  The  first  recorded 
expedition  was  sent  from  Uman  to  pillage  the  coasts  of 
India  in  the  year  636-37  A.D.  during  the  Khilafat  of  Omar 

was  t.hfl  nhw.Hvft  of  these  earlv 

raids,  but  the  task  was  considered  so  difficult  and  dangerous 
that  the  Khalifa  disapproved  of  such  distant  campaigns 
and  prohibited  all  further  attempts  in  this  direction.  He 
had  a  great  repugnance  to  naval  expeditions,  which  is  said  to 
have  been  caused  by  the  description  of  the  sea  furnished  tjo 



him  by  one  of  his  lieutenants,  as  "a  great  pool  which  some 
senseless  people  furrow,  looking  like  worms  upon  logs 
•of  wood."  But  Omar's  successors  relaxed  the  prohibition, 
and  expeditions  were  planned  and  undertaken,  so  that 
every  year  the  Muslims  marched  from  their  homes  in  search 
of  new  countries.  In  643-44  A.D.  Abdulla  bin  Amar  bin 
Rabi  invaded  Kirman,  and  marched  towards  Sistan  or 
Siwistan,  and  besieged  the  ruler  of  the  place  in  his  capital 
^nd  compelled  him  to  sue  for  peace.  Peace  being  made, 
the  victorious  general  proceeded  towards  Mekran,  where 
he  was  opposed  by  the  combined  forces  of  the  rulers  of 
Sindh  and  Mekran,  but  the  latter  sustained  a  defeat  in  a 
night  encounter.  Abdulla  wished  to  follow  up  his  victory 
and  to  win  further  success  on  the  other  side  of  the  Indus ; 
but  the  cautious  policy  of  the  Khalifa  stood  in  his  way 
and  forbade  all  further  progress. 

The  arms  of  Islam  achieved  splendid  success  every- 
where. Egypt,  Syria,  Carthage,  Africa, -all  were  reached 
within  a  few  years,  and  jr^  710  \  p.  at  the  battle  of  G^ada- 
lete  the  Gothic  kingdom  WQQ  dgatmypd  hy  the  Moorar  who 
established  their  own  power  in  the  country  and  introduced 
the  elements  of  Arabian  culture  among  the  semi-civilised 
European  rqces^  Persia  had  already  been  overrun  as  far 
as  the  river  Oxus,  and  attempts  had  been  made  to  annex 
the  lands  beyond  that  river  to  the  Caliphate.  These  eastern 
-conquests  greatly  increased  the  power  and  prestige  of  the 
Khilafat  which  attained  to  its  pinnacle  of  fame  under  the 
Omayyads.  Under  Hajjaj,  the  governor  of  IrSq,  who 
practically  ruled  over  the  entire  country  formerly  com- 
prised in  the  kingdom  of  Persia,  and  who  was  an  imperialist 
to  the  core,  the  spirit  of  conquest  found  its  fullest 
tfeope,  and  Bokhara,  Khojand,  Samarqand,  and  Farghana 


were  conquered  by  Muslim  arms.  Qutaiba  was  dent  to 
Kashgar  where  a  treaty  was  concluded  with  the  native 
Chinese.  An  army  was  also  sent  against  the  king  of  Kabul 
and  another  to  chastise  the  pirates  of  Debal1  IT?  Sindh,  who 
[had  plundered  eight  vessels  full  of  valuable  prrnmts  fifmt  hy 
|the  ruler  nf  (Tfiylnn  fnr  rh*  ITVHJfc  flnri  Hajjaj.  But  this 
punitive  expedition  against  Debal,  which  the  Khalifa  had 
sanctioned  at  the  special  request  of  Hajjaj,  failed,  and  the 
Arab  general  who  captained  it  was  defeated  and  put  to 
death  by  the  Sindhians.  Struck  with  shame  and  humiliation 
at  this  disastrous  failure,  Hajjaj  who  was  a  man  of 
sensitive  nature  vowed  vengeance  upon  the  Sindhians,  and 
planned  a  fresh  expedition,  better  organised  and  equipped 
than  the  previous  one.  It  was  entrusted  toMuhanrpa^  hm 
<3&fiim,  who  was  pointed  out  by  the  astrologers  as  the 
luckiest  man  to  be  placed  in  charge  of  it. 

The  story  of  Muhammad  bin  Qasim's  invasion  of  Sindh 

flf  thp  rnmnn/»off    ^f  hifltmj7       HlS  blooming  youth,  his 

dash  and    heroism,     his   noble  deportment 
throughout  the  expedition  and  his  tragic  fall 

invasion    of      have  invested  his  career  with  the  halo  of 

Bmdh,        712  _  , 

A.D.  martyrdom.    Buoyed  up  with  great  expecta- 

tions that  were  formed  of  him  on  account  of 

his  youthful  and  warlike  spirit,  this  gallant  prince  started 

on  his  Indian  expedition,  well-accoutred,  y>-h  ft, 

Trftflimi  Wftrrmrfl  flpnf  hy  Haiifti,  withlan  equal 
number  of  armed  camel-riders  and  a  baggage  train  of  3,000 

1  Thatta  is  synonymous  with  Debal.  Mr.  Abbott  discusses  the 
whole  question  at  length  in  his  interesting  monograph  on  Sindh 
(pp.  43—66).  Also  see  Major  Raverty's  translation  of  the  Tab%at-i-Naairi, 
I,  p.  395  (note  2). 


Bactrian  camels.  Nfto.Pftaftrjpg  as  well  as  luxuries 
amnlv  supplied  bv  the  Khaliffl.  who  had  appointed  Muham- 
mad bin  Qasim  more  on  the  score  of  his  kinship  with  him 
than  mere  personal  merit.  When  Muhammad  reached 
Mekran,  he  was  joined  by  the  governor,  Muhammad 
HarGn,  who  supplied  reinforcements  and  five  catapulta 
which  were  sent  to  Debal  with  the  necessary  equipments. 
Besides  these  Arab  troops,  Muhammad  bin  Qasim  enlisted 
under  his  banner  a  large'number  of  the  discontented  Jats 
and  Meds,  who  had  old  accounts  to  settle  with  the  intoler- 
ant Hindu  government,  which  had  inflicted  great  humi- 
liations upon  them.  They  had  been  forbidden  to  ride  in 
saddles,  wear  fine  clothes,  to  uncover  the  head,  and  thia 
condemnation  to  the  position  of  mere  hewers  of  wood  and 
drawers  pf  water  had  embittered  animosities  to  such  an 
extent  that  they  readily  threw  in  their  lot  with  the 
foreigner.  Though  Muhammad  bin  Qasim  treated  them  with 
scant  respect  as  soon  as  he  had  gained  a  foothold  in  the 
country,  this  division  of  national  sympathies  was  of  incal- 
culable help  to  him  in  acquiring  knowledge  of  the  country 
with  which  his  men  were  but  imperfectly  acquainted. 

Muhammad  reached  Debal  in  the  spring  of  712  A.D. 
There  he  was  reinforced  by  a  large  supply  of  men  and 
munitions.  Forthwith  Muhammad's  men  set  themselves 
to  the  task  of  digging  entrenchments  defended  by  spear- 
men, each  body  of  warriors  under  its  own  banners,  and 
the  manjnlq  called  the  '  *  bride  "  was  placed  with  500 
men  to  work  it.  There  was  a  large  temple  at  Debal  on  the 
top  of  which  floated  a  red  flag  which  was  pulled  down  by  the 
Muslims  to  the  complete  horror  of  the  idolaters.  A  hard  fight 
ensued  in  which  the  Hindus  were  defeated  by  the  Muslims. 
The  city  was  given  up  to  plunder,  and  a  terrible  scene  of 


carnage  followed,  which  lasted  for  three  days.  The 
governor  of  the  town  fled  away  without  offering  any 
resistance  and  left  the  field  clear  for  the  victorious  general, 
who  laid  out  a  Muslim  quarter,  built  a  mosque  and  entrusted 
the  defence  of  the  city  to  a  garrison  of  4,000  men. 

Having  taken  Debal  by  storm,  Muhammad  bin  Qasim 
proceeded  to  Nirun,  '  the  inhabitants  of  which  purchased 
their  freedom  by  furnishing  supplies  and  making  a  complete 
surrender.  He  then  ordered  a  bridge  of  boats  to  be  con- 
structed in  order  to  cross  the  Indus.  This  unexpected  move 
took  Dffliir  bv  surprise,  and  with  his  men  he  fell  back  upon 
Rawar  where  he  set  his  forces  in  order  to  fight  against  the 
enemy.  Here  the  Arabs  encountered  an  imposing  array 
of  war-elephants  and  a  powerful  army,  thirsting  to  give 
battle  to  the  Muslims  under  the  command  of 

Thakurs  (chiefs).  A  naphtha  arrow  struck  D§hir's  howdah 
and  set  it  ablaze.  Dahir  fell  upon  the  ground,  but  he  at 
once  raised  himself  up  and  had  a  scuffle  with  an  Arab,  who 
"  struck  him  with  a  sword  on  the  very  centre  of  his  head 
and  cleft  it  to  his  neck."  Driven  to  despair  by  the  death 
of  their  valiant  king  and  leader,  the  Hindus  assailed  the 
Muslims  with  relentless  fury,  but  they  were  defeated,  and 
the  faithful  "  glutted  themselves  with  massacre."  ffihiV^ 
wiffi>  pgnT  RgT.  and  his  son  betook  themselves  to  the 
fortress  of  Rfiwar,  where  the  last  extremity  of  peril  called 
forth  the  shining  qualities  of  those  hapless  men  and  women 
whom  death  and  dishonour  stared  in  the  face.  After  the 
manner  of  her  tribe,  this  brave  lady  resolved  to  fight  the 
enemies  of  her  husband.  She  reviewed  the  remnant  of  her 

1  Nirun  was  situated  on  the  high  road  from  ThattS  to  Haidrttb&d,  a 
little  below  Jarak.  (Elliot,  I,  pp.  896—401.) 
F.  3 


garrison,  15  thousand  in  number  in  the  fort,  and  forthwith 
stones  from  mangonels  and  balistas,  as  well  as  arrows 
•and  javelins,  began  to  be  rained  down  thickly  upon  the 
Arabs,  who  were  encamped  under  the  walls  of  the  fort.  But 
the  Arabs  proved  too  strong  for  the  forlorn  hope  of  RSwar 
and  conducted  the  siege  with  great  vigour  and  intrepidity. 
When  the  Rani  saw  her  doom  inevitable,  she  assembled  all 
the  women  in  the  fort  and  addressed  them  thus  :—  "  God 
forbid  that  we  should  owe  our  liberty  to  those  outcaste 
cow-eaters.  Our  honour  would  be  lost.  Our  respite  is  at 
an  end,  and  there  is  nowhere  any  hope  of  escape  ;  let  us 
collect  wood,  cotton  and  oil,  for  I  think  we  should  burn 
ourselves  and  go  to  meet  our  husbands.  If  any  wish  to  save 
herself,  she  may."  They  entered  into  a  house,  where  they 
burnt  themselves,  and  by  means  of  this  ghastly  holocaust 
vindicated  the  honour  of  their  race. 

Muhammad  took  the  fort,  qaassacred  the  6.000  men 
whom  he  found  there,  and  seized  all  the  wealth  ,sand 
treasure  that  belonged  to  Dahir.  Flushed  with  success, 
he  proceeded  to  prghmq^qhaH '  where  the  people  at  once 
submitted  to  him.  A  settlement  of  the  country  followed 
immediately  ;  those  who  embraced  Islam  were  exempted 
from  slavery,  tribute  and  the  Jeziya,  while  those  who 
adhered  to  the  faith  of  their  fathers  had  to  pay  the  poll- 
tax,  and  were  allowed  to  retain  possession  of  their  lands 
and  property.  The  poll-tax  was  levied  according  to  three 
grades.  The  first  grade  was  to  pay  silver  equal  to  forty- 
eight  dirhams,  the  second  grade  twenty-four  dirhams,  and 

1  It  is  a  ruined  city   in  the  Sinjhoro  Taluka  of  Thar  and   Parkar, 
district  Siudh,  Bombay,  situated  in  26°  52' N.  and  68°  62'  B.,  about  11 
'  miles  south-east  of  Shahdadpur  in  HaidrSbad,  and  21  miles  from  Hala. 
(Imperial  Gazetteer,  IX,  p.  8.) 


the  lowest  grade  twelve  dirhams.  When  the  people  of 
Brahmanabad  implored  Muhammad  bin  Qasim  to  grant 
them  freedom  of  worship,  he  referred  the  matter  to 
Hajjaj,  who  sent  the  following  reply  : — "As  they 
have  made  submission  and  have  agreed  to  pay  taxes  to 
the  Khalifa,  nothing  more  can  be  properly  required 
from  them.  They  have  been  taken  under  our  protection  and 
we  cannot,  in  any  way,  stretch  out  our  hands  upon  their 
lives  or  property.  Permission  is  given  them  to  worship 
ftbair  goffe.  Nobody  must  he  forbidden  or  prevented  from 
folio  winy  his  f\^r\  feli^ipn.  Tfrev  may  IJVP  in  t.hrir  hnnya 

in.  whatever  manner  thevlifre."1     Muhammad  bin  Qasim 
then  devoted  himself  to  the  settlement  of  the  country.   The 
-whole  population  was  divided  into  four  classes  and  twelve 
ydirhams'  weight  of  silver  was  allotted  to  each  man  because 
their  property  had  been  confiscated.    The  Brahmans   were, 
treated  well  and  their  dignity  was  maintained.    They  wertiu 
entrusted    with    offices    in    the    administration    and  the 
country  was  placed  under  their  charge.    To  the  revenue  * 
officers    Muhammad    said  :  "  Deal  honestly   between  the 
people  and  the  Sultan,  and  if  distribution  is  required,    make 
it    with    equity,    and  fix  the   revenue  according  to  the 
ability  to    pay.    Be    in  concord     among   yourselves  and 
oppose  not  each  other,  so  that  the  country  may  not  be 
•distressed."    Rp(lig-inna  fraeifopi  wfr$  grante4  and  in  the 
matter  of  worship    the  wishes    of  the    Brahmans  were 

The  victory  of  Brahmanabad  was  followed  by  the 
•conquest  of  Multan,  the  chief  city  of  the  upper  Indus.  The 
•garrison  in  the  fort  was  put  to  the  sword,  and  the  families 

1  GhSchnSmSt  Blliot,  I,  pp.  185*86. 


of  the  chief  s  and  warriors  of  Multan  were  enslaved.  The- 
people  of  Multan,  merchants,  traders,  and  artisans,  together 
with  the  Jats  and  Meds  of  the  surrounding  country,  whom 
the  native  government  had  persecuted,  waited  upon  the 
conqueror  and  paid  him  homage.  The  usual  settlement  of 
territory  followed,  and  Muhammad  bin  Qasim  granted 
toleration  to  all  unbelievers,  and  spared  their  lives  on  pay- 
ment of  a  poll-tax.  Having  conquered  Multan  he  sent 
one  of  his  generals,  Abu  Hakim,  at  the  head  of  ten 
thousand  horse  towards  Kanauj,  but  before  he  could 
open  a  fresh  campaign,  he  received  from  the  Khalifa  the 
ominous  decree  of  his  doom. 

But  all  these  glorious  conquests  spelled  disaster  for 

Muhammad,  and  nothing  availed  to  save  him  from  the  tragic 

fate  that  awaited  him.    His  fall  was  as  sud- 

The  death  of     den  as  his  meteoric  rise.    When  the  captive 


bin  Qasim.          daughters  of  Raja  Dahir.  Parmal  Devi  and 

Snraj  Devij  were  presented  to  the  Khalifa 
to  be  introduced  into  his  seraglio,  the  princesses,  in  order 
toavenpe  their  father's  (foftth,  invented  tViA  afrnry,  that 
before  sending  them  to  the  Khalifa  Muhammad  bin  Qasim 
had  dishonoured  them  both,  suggesting  thereby  that  they 
were  unfit  for  the  commander  of  the  faithful.  The  Khalifa2 
lost  his  temper,  and  peremptorily  issued  an  order  that 
Muhammad  bin  Qasim  should  be  sewn  in  the  raw  hide  of 
an  ox  and  be  sent  to  the  capital.  So  great  was  the  might 
and  majesty  of  the  Khalifa,  that  Muhammad,  on  receipt  of 
this  order,  voluntarily  sewed  himself  in  raw  hide,  and  Mir 
MBsOm  writes  that  "  three  days  afterwards,  the  bird  of  life 

I  The  Khalifa's    name   was  Walid  ibn-  Abdul  Malik.   He  became- 
f&alifa  in  86  A.H.  (706  A.D.)  and  died  in  96  A.H.  (715  A.D.). 


left  his  body  and  flew  to  heaven.  "  His  dead  body,  enclosed 
in  a  box,  was  sent  to  the  Khalifa,  who  ordered  it  to 
be  opened  in  the  presence  of  the  daughters  of  Dshir.  The 
princesses  expressed  unalloyed  satisfaction  at  the  death 
of  their  father's*  murderer,  but  told  the  Khalifa  that  he  was 
innocent.  The  Khalifa  was  struck  with  remorse  ;  but  how 
could  he  make  amends  for  his  mistake  ?  He  ordered  the 
princesses  to  be  tied  to  the  tails  of  horses  and  be  dragged 
until  they  were  dead/  Thus  perished  the  young  hero, 
who  had,  in  the  short  space  of  three  years,  conquered 
Sindh  and  established  the  Khalifa's  sway  on  Indian  soil. 
This  story  partakes  of  the  nature  of  a  myth.  There  is  a 
great  disagreement  among  our  authorities  on  the  point  of 
Muhammad  bin  Qasim's  death,  but  the  account  of  Futuhu-i- 
Buldan,  which  says  that  Muhammad  was  seized,*  put  in 
chains  and  tortured  to  death  by  the  order  of  the  Khalifa, 
seems  to  be  more  probable  than  the  rest. 

As  a  matter  of  necessity  rather  than  of  choice,  the  ad- 

ministration was  left  in  the  hands  of  the  natives.    The  con- 

quest placed  plenty  of  land  in  the  hands  of  the 

The  Arab  oc-     Arabs.  The  iqtUs  were  held  by  grantees  on  the 

cupation      of  ,_.          -      ...^  .  , 

condition  of  military  service  and  were  exempt 

from  all  taxes  except  the  alms  (Sadqah).  The 
Muslim  soldiers  were  not  allowed  to  cultivate  lands,  and 
therefore  the  main  burden  of  agricultural  labour  fell  upon 
the  natives  who  were  '  reduced  to  the  condition  of  villeins 
and  serfs/  Some  soldiers  held  grants  of  land  while  others 
received  fixed  salaries.  As  laid  down  in  the  sacred  law, 

1  MTr  M3*8um  writes  that  after  two  months,  the  princesses  were 
presented  to  the  Khalifa  and  an  interpreter  was  called  in.  When  the 
veil  was  removed  from  their  faces,  the  Khalifa  fell  in  love  with  them. 
They  told  him  that  Muhammad  had  kept  them  for  three  days  in  his 
haram.  (Tarikh-i-M&sBmT,  KhudRbakhsha,  M8.  F.  16.) 


four-fifths  of  the  spoils  was  given  to  the  troops  and  one-fifth 
was  kept  for  the  Khalifa  and  it  appears  that  the  Khalifas 
observed  this  rule,  because  they  were  afraid  of  the  opposi- 
tion of  these  military  men.  Religious  endowments  were 
made,  and  land  was  given  in  waqf  (free-gift)  to  holy  men 
and  heads  of  monasteries,  The  Arab  soldiers  settled  in 
the  country,  married  Indian  women  and  thus  slowly  a 
number  of  small  military  colonies  came  into  existence,  where 
in  the  enjoyment  of  domestic  happiness  these  men  forgot 
the  pain  of  exile. 

The  Arabs  were  not  so  fanatical  as  the  Turks  who 
followed  them  later.  They  granted  toleration  to  the 
Hindus.  They  did  so  not  because  they  felt  respect  for 
other  faiths,  but  because  they  were  convinced  of  the  im- 
possibility of  suppressing  the  faiths  of  the  conquered 
peoples.  At  first  there  was  a  fearful  outbreak  of  religious 
bigotry  in  several  places,  and  temples  were  wantonly 
desecrated.  The  temple  of  the  Sun  at  Mult  an  was  ravaged , 
and  its  treasures  were  rifled  by  Muhammad  bin  Qasim. 
The  principal  sources  of  revenue  were  the  land-tax  and 
the  poll-tax.  The  land-tax  was  rated  at  two-fifths  of  the 
produce  of  wheat  and  barley,  if  the  fields  were  watered  by 
public  canals,  and  one-fourth  if  unirrigated.  Of  dates,  grapes 
and  garden  produce  one-third  was  taken,  either  in  kind  or 
cash,  and  one-fifth  of  the  yield  of  wines,  fishing,  pearls  and  of 
other  produce,  not  derived  from  cultivation.  Besides  these, 
there  were  several  other  taxes,  which  were  generally  farmed 
out  to  the  highest  bidder.  Some  of  the  tribes  had  to  comply 
with  demands  which  carried  much  humiliation  with  thenu 
At  one  time  the  Jats  living  beyond  the  river  Aral  had  to 
bring  a  dog  when  they  came  to  pay  their  respects  to  the 
governor  and  were  branded  on  the  hand.  Sumptuary  law& 


were  rigorously  enforced,  and  certain  tribes  were  forbidden 
to  wear  fine  apparels,  to  ride  on  horses  and  to  cover  their 
heads  and  feet.  Theft  by  the  subject  race  was  held  to  be  a 
serious  crime,  and  it  was  punished  by  burning  to  death  the 
women  and  children  of  the  thief.  The  native  population 
had  to  feed  every  Muslim  traveller  for  three  days  and  nights, 
and  had  to  submit  to  many  other  humiliations  which  are 
mentioned  by  the  Muslim  historians.  The  Jeziya  wa& 
always  exacted  "  with  rigour  and  punctuality,  and  frequent- 
ly with  insult."  The  unbelievers,  technically  called  Zimmla, 
had  to  pay  according  to  their  means,  and  exemption  waa 
granted  to  those  who  embraced  Islam.  There  were  na 
tribunals  for  deciding  cases  between  the  Hindus  and  Mus- 
lims. The  amirs  and  chiefs,  who  still  maintained  their 
independence,  exercised  the  right  of  inflicting  capital  punish- 
ment upon  offenders  within  their  jurisdiction.  The  Qazi 
decided  cases  according  to  the  principles  of  the  Quran,  and 
the  same  practice  was  followed  in  cases  between  the  Hindus 
and  the  Muslims,  which,  of  course,  resulted  in  great  injustice 
to  the  former.  In  the  matter  of  public  and  political 
offences,  the  law  made  no  distinction  between  Hindus  and 
Muslims,  but  all  suits  relating  to  d$bts,  contracts,  adultery, 
inheritance,  property  and  the  like,  were  decided  by  the 
Hindus  in  their  panchayats  or  arbitration  boards  which 
worked  with  great  efficiency.  The  public  tribunals  were 
to  the  EJindus  "  only  the  means  of  extortion  and  forcible 
conversion."  They  always  fretted  and  chafed  under  the 
foreign  tutelage,  but  their  own  disunion  was  responsible 
for  it.  The  absence  of  that  bond  of  sympathy  between 
the  conqueror  and  the  conquered,  which  arises  from  mutual 
confidence,  was  a  conspicuous  feature  of  the  Arab  adminis- 
tration in  Sindh. 


The  conquest  was  accomplished  by  tribes  who  were  so 

different  in  their  habits  and  sentiments  that  they  could 

never  act  in  unison.    When  religious  fana- 

The     imper-     ticism  had  subsided,  they  "  showed    them- 

manence        of  t  .  .  ,          _  ._,. 

Arab  conquest,  selves  as  utterly  incapable,  as  the  shifting 
sands  of  their  own  desert,  of  coalescing  into 
a  system  of  concord  and  subordination."  The  hereditary 
feuds  among  the  various  clans  further  weakened  their  posi- 
tion, which  was  rendered  worse  by  the  persecution  of  the 
Shias  and  several  other  heretical  sects.  The  Arab  con- 
quest, as  Stanley  Lane-Poole  rightly  observes,  was  only  "  an 
episode  in  the  history  of  India  and  of  Islam,  a  triumph  with- 
out Result s."  The  province  of  Sindh  was  well-known  for  the 
infertility  of  its  soil,  and  the  Arabs  soon  discovered  that  it 
was  an  unremunerative  appanage  of  the  Khilafat.  The 
Hindu  world,  deeply  conservative  and  philosophical,  treated 
with  supreme  disdain  the  wealth  and  greatness  of  its 
physical  conquerors,  so  that  the  even  tenor  of  Hindu  life 
was  not  at  all  disturbed  by  this  "  barbarian  inroad.*'  It 
was  impossible  for  the  Arabs  to  found  a  permanent  power 
in  India,  for  the  Rajputs  still  held  important  kingdoms  in 
the  north  and  east,  and  were  ever  ready  to  contest  every 
inch  of  ground  with  any  .foreign  intruder,  who  ventured 
to  invade  their  territory,  f  Muhammad  bin  Qasim's  work 
of  conquest  was  left  uncompleted,  and  after  his  death 
the  stability  of  the  Arab  position  was  seriously  shaken 
owing  to  the  ineffectual  aid,  which  the  Khalifas  sent,  to 
their  representatives  in  that  inhospitable  region.  The 
decline  in  the  power  of  the  Khilafat  seriously  affected  its 
possessions  abroad,  and  the  distant  provinces  gradually 
ceased  to  respect  the  authority  of  the  imperial  government 
SiiWhwas  divided  into  several  petty  states  which  were 


practically  independent.    The  Arabs  who  settled  in  Sindh 
•established  their  own  dynasties,  and    the  chiefs   of  the 
Saiyyad  families  exercised  authority  over  the  upper  and 
the  lower  Indus.  Only  a  few  settlements  and  a  few  families 
constituted  the  memorial  of  Arab  conquest  in  India.    The 
Arabs  have  left  no  legacy  behind  in  the  shape  of  buildings, 
camps,  and  roads.    Language,  architecture,  art,  tradition, 
customs,  and  manners  were  little  affected  by  them,   and 
all  that  remained  was  the  dtbria  of  ancient  buildings,  which 
proclaimed  to  the  world  the  vandalism  of  their  destroyers. 
Out  of  the  materials  of  the  buildings  which  they  demo- 
lished they  built  castles,  cities  and  fortresses  which    have 
been  destroyed  by  the  ravages  of  time. 

It  may  be  conceded  at  once  that  the  Arab  conquest  of 

>Sindh,  from  the  political  point  of  view,  was  an  insignificant 

event  in  the  history  of  Islam.  But  the  effects 

'effecteso1ltThe     of  this  conQuest  upon  Muslim  culture  were 
Arab  conquest     profound  and  far-reaching.    When  the  Arabs 
came  to  India,  they  were  astonished  at  the 
superiority  of  the  civilisation  which  they  found  in  the  coun- 
try.   The  sublimity  of  Hindu  philosophical  ideas  and  the 
richness  and  versatility  of  Hindu  intellect  were  a  strange 
revelation  to  them.  The  cardinal  doctrine  of  Muslim  theology 
that  there  is  one  God,  was  already  known  to  the  Hindu 
saints  and  philosophers  and  they  found  that  in  the  nobler 
arts,  which  enhance  the  dignity  of  man,  the  Hindus  far  ex- 
celled them.  The  Indian  musician,  the  mason,  and  the  painter 
were  as  much  admired  by  the  Arabs  as  the  philosopher  and 
the  man  of  learning.    The  Arabs  learnt  from  the  Hindus 
a  great  deal  in  the  practical  art  of  administration,    and  the 
employment  of  Brahman  officials  on  a  large  scale  was  due 
to  their  better  knowledge,  experience,  and    fitness  for 


discharging  efficiently  the  duties  of  administration.  Muslim 
historians  are  apt  to  forget  or  minimise  the  debt  which  the 
Saracenic  civilisation  owed  to  Indo-Aryan  culture.  A  great 
many  of  the  elements  of  Arabian  culture,  which  afterwards 
had  such  a  marvellous  effect  upon  European  civilisation, 
were  borrowed  from  India.  The  court  at  Baghdad  extended 
its  patronage  to  Indian  scholarship,  and  during  the  Khilafat 
of  Mansur  (753-774  A.D.)  Arab  scholars  went  from  India  to 
Baghdad,  who  carried  with  them  two  books,  the  Brahma 
Siddhanta  of  Brahmagupta  and  his  Khanda-khtidydMT 
which  were  translated  into  Arabic  with  t¥eTielp"3f "  'Indian 
scholars.  It  was  from  them  that  the  Arabs  learnt  the 
first  principles  of  scientific  astronomy.1  The  cause  of 
Hindu  learning  received  much  encouragement  from  the 
ministerial  family  of  the  Barmaks  during  the  Khilafat  of 
HSrun  (786-808  A.D.).  They  invited  Hindu  scholars  to 
Baghdad,  and  appointed  them  as  the  chief  physicians  of 
their  hospitals,  and  asked  them  to  translate  from  Sanskrit 
into  Arabic  works  on  medicine,  philosophy,  astrology  and 
other  subjects.  When  the  Khilafat  of  Baghdad  lost  its 
importance  after  the  extinction  of  the  Abbasid  dynasty 
at  the  hands  of  HalagG,  the  Arab  governors  of  Sindh  became 
practically  independent.  The  cultural  connection  was  brok- 
en and  the  Arab  scholars,  no  longer  in  contact  with  Indian 
savants,  turned  to  the  study  of  Hellenic  art,  literature, 
philosophy  and  science.  We  may  endorse  Stanley  Lane- 
Poole's  view  that  the  conquest  of  Sindh  produced  no  perma- 
nent political  results,  but  it  must  be  added  that  the  Arabs, 
derived  much  benefit  from  the  culture  and  learning  of  the: 

°l  Al-Biruni,  India,  translated  by  Sachau,  Introduction,  p.  xxxi. 


The  Arab  invasion  was  a  failure  because  it  was  directed 
against  a  barren  and  unproductive  province.  The  progress 
of  Islamic  conquest  was  checked  for  the  time, 
of  the  Turks.°e  but  it  was  resumed  with  great  zeal  and  ear- 
nestness in  the  tenth  century  by  the  Turks 
who  poured  into  India  from  beyond  the  Afghan  hills  in 
ever-increasing  numbers.  After  the  fall  of  the  Omayyads 
in  750  A,D.,  the  A bbasides  who  succeeded  to  the  Khilafat 
transferred  the  capital  from  Damascus  to  Al-Kufa,  and 
removed  all  distinctions  between  the  Arabs  and  the  non- 
Arabs.  The  Khilafat  now  lost  its  sole  spiritual  leadership 
in  the  Islamic  world  ;  and  its  authority  was  circumscribed 
by  the  independent  dynasties  that  had  lately  come  into  exist- 
ence. The  Arabs  had  now  sunk  into  factious  voluptuaries, 
always  placing  personal  or  tribal  interests  above  the  interests 
of  Islam.  The  Abbasides  accelerated  the  process  of  decadence 
by  systematically  excluding  the  Arabs  from  office.  The 
provincial  governors  showed  a  tendency  towards  indepen- 
dence, as  the  central  government  became  weaker  and 
weaker.  The  barbarian  Turkish  guards  whom  the  Khalifas 
employed  to  protect  their  person  grew  too  powerful  to  be  < 
controlled,  and  they  became  mere  tools  in  their  hands.  The 



Turks  grew  in  importance  from  Egypt  to  Samarqand, 
•and  when  the  Samanid  kingdom  was  overthrown  by  them, 
they  founded  small  principalities  for  themselves.  The  more 
ambitious  of  these  petty  chiefs  turned  to  India  to  find 
an  outlet  for  their  martial  ardour  and  love  of  conquest. 
In  933  A.D.  Alaptagin  seized  Ghazni  where  his  father  had 
been  governor  under  the  SamSnids  and  established  his  own 
independent  power. 

After  his  death  in  976  A.D.  he  was  succeeded  by  his 

slave  Subuktagin.    As  he  seemed  to  be  a  man  of  promise, 

.    .   Q  ,   ,       Alaptagin  gradually  raised  him  to  posts  of 

Amir  Hubuk-  ,  -          _  . 

tag  in— The     trust,  and  conferred  upon  him,  in  course  of 

5rHinTdu8atann  time'  the  title  of  Amir-uL-Umra.  Subuktagin 
was  a  talented  and  ambitious  ruler.  Not 
content  with  the  petty  kingdom  of  his  master,  he  organised 
the  Afghans  into  a  compact  body,  and  with  their  help  con- 
quered Lamghan  and  Sistan,  and  extended  the  sphere  of  his 
influence.  The  Turkish  attacks  upon  the  Samanid  power 
further  gave  him  the  long-desired  opportunity  of  securing 
the  province  of  Khorasan  for  his  son  Mahmud  in  994  A.D. 

Eager  to  acquire  religious  merit,  Subuktagin  turned  toj 
the  conquest  of  India,  a  country  of  idolaters  and  infidels. 
Jayapala,  whose  kingdom  extended  from  Sarhind  to  Lam- 
ghan  and  from  Kashmir  to  Multan,  was  the  first  Indian 
ruler  likely  to  check  his  advance.  When  the  Afghans  encamp- 
ed on  the  border  of  the  Lamghan  territory,  JayapSla,  who 
was  frightened  beyond  measure  on  seeing  the  heavy  odds 
arrayed  against  him,  sued  for  peace,  and  offered  to   pay 
tribute  in  acknowledgment  of  the  conqueror's  sovereignty. 
Mahmud  dissuaded  his  father  from  acceding  to  these  terms 
of  peace,  and  urged  battle  for  "  the  honour  of  Islam  and  of 
JkCttsalmaiis."  JayapSla,   however,  renewed  his  overtures 


and  sent  the  following  message  to  Subuktagin :— "  You 
have  seen  the  impetuosity  of  the  Hindus  and  their  indiffer- 
ence to  death,  whenever  any  calamity  befalls  them,  as  at 
this  moment.  If,  therefore,  you  refuse  to  grant  peace  in 
the  hope  of  obtaining  plunder,  tribute,  elephants,  and 
prisoners,  then  there  is  no  alternative  for  us  but  to  mount 
the  horse  of  stern  determination,  destroy  our  property, 
take  out  the  eyes  of  our  elephants,  cast  our  children  into 
the  fire,  and  rush  on  each  other  with  sword  and  spear,  so 
that  all  that  will  be  left  to  you,  is  stones  and  dirt,  dead 
bodies,  and  scattered  bones.'* 

At  this,  peace  was  made,  and  Jayapala  bound  himself 
to  pay  a  tribute  of  a  million  dirhams,  50  elephants,  and 
some  cities  and  fortresses  in  his  dominions.  But  he 
soon  changed  his  mind  and  cast  into  prison  two  officers 
sent  by  Subuktagin  to  see  that  he  made  good  his  promise. 
When  the  Amir  heard  of  this  breach  of  faith,  he  hastened 
with  his  army  towards  Hindustan  to  punish  JayapSla  for 
his  '  wickedness  and  infidelity/  Jayapala  received  help 
from  his  fellow-princes  of  Ajmer,  Delhi,  Kalanjar,  and 
Kanauj,  and  at  the  head  of  a  hundred  thousand  men  he 
advanced  to  meet  the  invader  on  the  same  field  of  battle. 

The  issue  of  the  battle  was  a  foregone  conclusion. 
Subuktagin  urged  his  fanatical  followers  to  fight  as  well  as 
they  could  for  the  honour  of  the  faith.    The 
inTaseion.eC°nd     Hindus  were  defeated  in  a  sharp  engagement. 
Subuktagin  levied  a  heavy  tribute  and  obtain- 
ed an  immense  booty.    His  sovereignty  was  acknowledged, 
and  he  appointed  one  of  his  officers  to  the  government  of 
Peshawar*     India  was  not  conquered,  but  the  Muslims 
discovered  the  way  that  led  to  her  fertile  plains.    After 
ruling  his  subjects  with  prudence    and   moderation  for 


twenty  years,  Subuktagin  died  in  August  997  A.D.,  leaving 

-a  large  and  well-established  kingdom  for  his  son  Mahmud  J> 

After  the  death  of  Subuktagin,  the  sceptre  of  Ghazni 

passed  into  the  hands  of  his  eldest  son,  Mahmud,  who 

quickly  attained  to  the  position  of  one  of  the 

G  ha*™1?—  Hie     mightiest    rulers  of   Asia,   famed  in  far-off 

early      ambi-     lands  for  his  riches,  valour,  and  justice.     To 


the  qualities  of  a  born  soldier,  he  added  bound- 
less religious  zeal  which  has  ranked  him  among  the  great 
leaders  of  Islam.  Mahmud  was  indeed  a  fierce  and  fanatical 
Muslim  with  an  insatiable  thirst  for  wealth  and  power. 
Early  in  life  he  formed  the  grim  resolve  for  spreading  the 
faith  of  the  Prophet  at  the  point  of  the  sword,  and  his  in- 
vestiture by  the  Khalifa  further  sharpened  his  zeal.  To 
such  a  greedy  iconoclast,  India  with  her  myriad  faiths  and 
fabulous  wealth  presented  a  favourable  field  for  the  exercise 
of  his  religious  and  political  ambitions.  Again  and  again,  he 
led  jihads  against  the  Hindus,  bringing  back  with  him 
vast  booty  obtained  by  the  plundering  Turkish  hordes 
who  followed  him  into  Hindustan. 

Having  settled  the  affairs  of  his  kingdom,   Mahmud 
turned  his  attention  towards  Hindustan,  and  led  as  many 
as   seventeen    invasions    during  the     years 
1000—1026  A.  a    The  first  expedition  in  1000 

raid    on  fron-     ^.D.   resulted  in  the     capture    of    several 
frontier  fortresses  and  districts  which  were 
entrusted  by  Mahmud  to  his  own  governors. 

Next  year  he  again  set  out  from  Ghazni  at  the  head  of 
ten  thousand  picked  horsemen.    Thereupon,  JayapSla,  the 
Raja  of  Bhatinda,  mustered  all  his  forces,  and 
on  the  8th  Muharram,  392  A.H.  (November 
28,  1001  A.D.),  a  severe  action  was  fought  at 


Peshawar,  in  which  the  Musalmans  defeated  the  Hindus. 
Jayapala  was  captured  with  his  kinsmen,  and  an  immense 
booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  conqueror.  The  former  agreed 
to  give  fifty  elephants  and  his  son  and  grandson  as  hos- 
tages as  a  security  for  fulfilling  the  conditions  of  the  peace. 
But  Jayapala  personally  preferred  death  to  dishonour, 
•and  perished  in  the  flames  to  save  himself  from 
humiliation.  ' 

The  third  expedition  was  aimed  against  the  city  of 
Bheera  (1004-05  A.D.)  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Jhelam,  below 
the  Salt  Range,  which  was  soon  annexed  to 
Against      the  kingdom  of  Ghazni.    Abul  Fatah  Daud, 
.       the  heretic  ruler  of  Multan,  purchased  a  par- 

don by  promising  an  annual  tribute  of  twenty 
thousand  golden  dirhams,  when  he  learnt  of  the  defeat  of 
JayapSla's  son  AnandapSla  near  Peshawar.  Mahmud  entrust- 
ed his  Indian  possessions  to  Sevakapala,  a  Hindu  convert,  and 
returned  to  Ghazni,  but  as  soon  as  the  conqueror  turned 
his  back,  Sevakapala  abjured  Islam  and  withheld  allegiance 
to  Ghazni.  Thereupon,  Mahmud  marched  against  him  and 
•defeated  him.  He  was  compelled  to  pay  400  thousand 
-dirhams  as  penalty  for  his  disloyalty  and  bad  faith. 

The  sixth  expedition    (1008-09  A.D.)  was  aimed  against 

AnandapSla  for  having  assisted  Daud  of  Multan  in  his 

treasonable  designs.     Anandapala  like  the 

AntndapaFa?  *    aslant    RM»    San£a    of  Mewar  organised 

a   confederacy    of    the   Rajas  of   Ujjain, 

Gwalior,  Kalanjar,  Kanauj,  Delhi  and  Ajmer  and  marched 

1  Firishta  writes  that  a  custom  prevailed  among  the  Hindus  that 
when  a  Raja  was  overpowered  twioe  by  strangers,  he  became  disquali- 
fied to  reign.  (Briggs,  I.  p.  88.)  Utbi  also  refers  to  this  custom  though 
with  AS  light  variation.  (Elliot*  II,  p.  97.) 


towards  the  Punjab  to  give  battle  to  the  invader.  The* 
response  to  the  appeal  of  the  Punjab  chief  showed  that  the* 
Rajput  princes  were  fully  alive  to  the  danger  to  their 
civilisation.  The  high  and  the  low,  the  rich  and  the  poor, 
were  all  stirrecTto  "heroic  action.  The  Muslim  historian 
writes  that  Hindu  women  '  sold  their  jewels  and  sent  the 
money  from  distant  parts  to  be  used  against  the  Musalmans. 
The  poorer  women  worked  day  and  night  at  tha^spinnin^ 
wheel  or  as  hired  labourers  to  be  able  to  send  something  to* 
the  men  of  the  army.  The  Khokhars  also  threw  in  their  lot 
with  the  Hindus. 

Mahmud's  archers  were  repulsed  by  the  bareheaded 
and  barefooted  Khokhars  who  rushed  fearlessly  into  the 
thick  of  the  fight  and  slew  and  smote  three  or  four  thou- 
sand Musalmans.  Dismayed  by  this  furious  charge,  the 
Sultan  was  about  to  stop  the  fight,  when  suddenly  Ananda- 
pSla's  elephant  took  fright  and  fled  from  the  field  of  battle. 
the~HIndus  were  panic-stricken  and  the  Ghaznawide  army 
pursued  them  for  two  days  and  nights.  Many  were  put  to 
death,  and  enormous  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  victors. 

Flushed  with  success,   Mahmud  marched  against  the 

fort  of  Kangra,  also  known  as  Nagarkot  or  Bhimnagar. 1 

^  The  fortress    was    reputed  to  hold  untold 

est  of  Naglr-    treasures,  all  dedicated  to  Hindu  gods.    Whea 

k<^t,   ioos-09    the    Muhammadans   besieged  the  fortress, 

the  Hindus  opened  the  gates  out  of  fear,. 

and   Mahmud    easily   became    master    of  it   and   seized 

immense   booty.      The  Sultan    returned   in   triumph  to 

1  Kangra  is  a  most  fertile  plateau  in  the  Himalayas  with  a  snow-clad 
range  at  its  back  and  with  perennial  streams  running  through  it  into* 
three  OP  four  rivers.  The  fort  of  Kangra  was  permanently  conquered 
by  Jahangir  in  1621. 


Ghazni  with  a  vast  collection  of  jewels  which  far  exceeded! 
the  treasures  of  the  mightiest  kings  of  the  world. 

/    The  acquisition  of  vast  treasures  whetted  the  rapacity 
of  Mahmud's  followers,  and  they  repeated  their  raids  with 
a  remarkable  frequency.    The  dissensions  of 
the  Hindus,  though  they  were  numerically 
superior  to   their  invaders,  made  their  task 
easy.    There  was  little  feeling  of  national  patriotism  in, 
the    country.    The    masses    were  indifferent  to  political 
revolutions.     Whenever    a    confederacy    was    organised^ 
its    members  often  fell  out  among  themselves,   and  the 
pride  of  the    clan    or    the    tribe    interfered    with    the 
discipline  of  the  coalition  and  paralysed  the  plans  of  leaders. 
Self-interest    always  predominated  over  the  interests  of( 
Hindustan,  while  the  Muslims  never  experienced  dearth 
of  recruits  owing  to  their  boundless  fanaticism. 

After  the  conquest  of  Ghor,  Mahmud  marched  towards 
Multan  in  1010  A.D.,  and  defeated,  and  punished  the  rebel- 
lious chief  Daud.  Three  years  later  he  proceeded  against 
Bhimapala,  captured  his  fortress,  and  seized  vast  booty. 
The  Muslims  pursued  the  Raja  who  fled  to  Kashmir. 
Mahmud  appointed  his  own  governor,  and  after  plunder- 
ing Kashmir,  and  forcing  a  great  many  people  to  embrace 
Islam  he  returned  to  Ghazni. 

But  far  more  important  than  these  raids  was  his  expedi- 
tion against  Thanesar  in  the  year  1014  A.D.    The  Hindus 
fought  desperately  against  the  invaders,  but 
TiineLi .n  8  *     they  were  defeated,  and  the  fort  of  Thanesar 
with  a  large  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 

Ardent  spirits  offered  themselves  as  volunteers  to  fight 
in  the  crusades  against  infidelity,  and  the  armies  of 



Mahmud  soon  swelled  to  enormous  dimensions.  Mahmud 
now  determined  to  invade  Kanauj,  renowned 
in  the  East  a8  the  imperial  Kpatriya  capital 
of  Hindustan.  In  1018  A.D.  he  started 
from  Ghazni  and  crossed  the  Jamna  on  the  2nd  December, 
1018  A.D.  He  captured  all  the  forts  that  blocked  his  way. 
The  Raja  of  Baran  (Bulandshahr)  tendered  his  submission, 
and  according  to  Muslim  historians  with  ten  thousand 
men  embraced  Islam.  The  Sultan  then  marched  against 
the  chief  of  Mahawan  on  the  Jamna.  The  Hindus  put  forth 
a  gallant  fight  but  they  were  defeated.  The  Raja  killed 
himself  to  escape  humiliation,  and  an  enormous  booty  fell 
into  the  hands  of  the  Sultan  who  now  proceeded  against 
Mathura,  the  sacred  city  of  the  Hindus,  which,  according 
to  the  Muslim  historian,  was  unrivalled  in  population  and 
edifices,  and  the  wonderful  things  which  it  contained  could 
not  be  described  by  the  tongue  of  man.  Muslim  iconoclasm 
proved  too  much  for  the  defenders,  and  the  exquisite  temples 
were  razed  to  the  ground  by  the  orders  of  the  conqueror 

Mahmud,  then,  proceeded  against  Kanauj  and  appeared 
before  its  gates  in  January  1019  A.D.  Rajyapala,  the  Prati- 
har  Raja  of  Kanauj,  however,  submitted  without  offering 
any  resistance.  The  Sultan  sacked  the  whole  town  and 
destroyed  the  temples,  seizing  an  enormous  amount  of  their 
wealth.  Passing  through  the  country  of  Bundelkhand 
Mahmud  returned  to  Ghazni. 

The  abject  surrender  of  RajyapSla  gave  offence  to  his 

fellow  Rajput  princes,  and  Vidyadhara,  son  of  the  Chandela 

Raja  of  Kalanjar,    attacked   RajyapSla* and 

The  Defeat  of    8iew  him  in  battle.    Resenting  the  murder 

Prince  of  his    vassal,     Mahmud    left    Ghazni  in 

1019  A.D.  to  chastise  tfce  Chandela  Prince. 


The  Chandela  Raja  was  ready  for  battle  with  a  huge  army, 
but  he  was  curiously  struck  with  a  panic,  and  luckily  for 
Mahmud  fled  from  the  field  of  battle,  leaving  his  entire 
baggage  for  the  invaders.  In  1021-22  A.D.  Mahmud  again 
returned  to  India  and  after  compelling  the  submission  of 
the  chief  of  Gwalior  proceeded  towards  Kalanjar.  The 
Chandela  Raja  elected  to  conclude  a  peace  with  the  Sultan. 
Having  accepted  immense  riches  and  jewels,  Mahmud  vic- 
toriously returned  to  Ghazni. 

But  the  most  momentous  expedition  was  aimed  against 

Somnath  in  the  year  416-17  A.H.  (1025-26  A.D.).    Having 

Expedition     heard  of    the    fabulous  wealth  whictt  this 

against    Som-     temple  was  supposed  to  contain,  he  resolved  to 


proceed  against  it.  Marching  through  diffi- 
cult country  by  way  of  Ajmer,  the  Sultan  stood  before  the 
gates  of  Somnath '  in  a  few  days.  He  invested  the  fortress 
which  stood  on  the  sea-shore,  and  was  washed  by 
the  waves.  The  Rajput  princes,  from  far  and  near, 
gathered  to  protect  their  cherished  idol.  When  the 
Muslims  began  the  attack,  the  Hindus  repelled  the  assault 
with  stubborn  courage,  and  when  the  besiegers  tried  to 
scale  the  walls  next  morning,  the  defenders  hurled  them 
down  with  irresistible  fprce.  Mahmud  was  filled  with 
dismay  ;  but  when  he  addressed  a  fervent  appeal  to  God  for 
assistance,  the  hearts  of  the  ignorant  zealots  of  Islam  were 
touched.  With  one  voice  they  declared  their  resolve  to 
fight  and  die  for  him. 

The  battle  raged  loud  and  fierce,  and  a  scene  of  terrible 
carnage  followed,  and  about  5,000  Hindus    were    slain. 

1  The  temple  of  Somnath  was  situated  in  Kathiawad  in  Gujarat. 
The  old  temple  is  in  ruins  and  a  new  temple  has  been  built  by  Ahalyabai 
near  the  site  of  the  old,  but  the  grandeur  of  the  temple  is  still  indicated 
toy  the  ruins  that  exist. 


Mahmud  then  entered  the  temple  and  broke  the  idol  into 
Dieces.  He  ordered  some  fragments  of  the  idol  to  be  sent  to 
Ghazni  where  they  were  thrown  down  at  the  threshold  of 
the  great  mosque  to  give  satisfaction  to  the  true  be- 
lievers. It  is  related  that  when  Mahmud  was  thus  breaking 
the  idol,  the  priests  offered  him  immense  wealth,  only  if  he 
spared  what  remained  of  their  god,  but  he  replied  with 
callous  indifference  that  he  wished  to  be  known  in  the  world 
as  Mahmud,  the  breaker  of  idols,  and  not  as  Mahmud, 
the  seller  of  idols.1  All  appeals  for  pity,  all  offers 
of  wealth  made  by  the  priests  in  charge  of  the  temple 
produced  no  effect  on  this  relentless  fanatic,  who  by  another 
blow  broke  the  sacred  lingam  into  pieces.  The  Muslim 
soldiers  of  Mahmud  ruthlessly  sacked  the  temple  and  easily 
obtained  possession  of  a  large  heap  of  diamonds,  rubies,  and 
pearls  of  incalculable  value.2 

Thus  did  Mahmud  figure,  in  the  eyes  of  his  followers, 
as  a  devoted  champion  of  the  faith.  They  followed  him 
uncomplainingly  wherever  he  led  them.  The  Raja  of 
JNehrwala  was  attacked  next  for  taking  part  in  the  defence 
of  Somnath.  He  fled,  and  his  country  was  easily  conquered. 
This  was  followed  by  the  subjugation  of  the  Bhatti  Rajputs. 
On  his  return  journey  Mahmud  was  much  troubled  by 
Bhima  Deva,  the  chief  of  Gujarat,  and  the  troops  suffered 
considerably  in  the  Ran  of  Kutch.  He  adopted  a  more 
westerly  route  and  proceeded  to  Ghazni  by  way  of  Sindh. 

1  Mr.  Habib's  statement  that  the  offer  of  the  Brahmans  and  Mah- 
mud's  rejection  of  the  offer  is  a  fable  of  later  days  lacks  confirmation 
by  Muslim  authorities.  There  is  no  improbability  in  the  offer  made  by 
the  Brahmans.  (Habib,  Sultan  Mahmud  of  Ghazni,  p.  53.) 

*  Firishta's  story  that  the  idol  of  Somnath  was  hollow  does  not  seen* 
"to  be  correct.     Al-Biruni  says  the  lingam  was  made  o!  solid  gold. 


The  last    expedition   of    Mahmud  was  undertaken  to 
chastise  the  Jats  of  the  Salt  Range  as  they  had  molested  the 
Muslim    army   on  its   return   journey  from 
the      Somnath.  The  Jats  were  defeated  and  many 

of  them  were  put  to  the  sword. 
Mahmud  was  a  great  king.  It  was  no  mean  achievement 
to  develop  a  small  mountain  principality  into  a  large  and 
prosperous  empire  by  sheer  force  of  arms. 
f  chievement     ft  js  true,  the  fall  of  the  Samanids,  dissen- 

of  Mahmud.  __ 

sions  of  the  Hindu  princes,  the  waning  power 
of  Persia,  and  the  boundless  fanaticism  of  the  Turks- 
callow  converts  to  Islam— all  these  were  factors  which 
favoured  his  rise  and  contributed  to  his  success.  The  per- 
manent conquest  of  Hindustan  was  impossible,  and  that 
wasHnot  the  objective 'of  the  Sultan.  Besides,  the  Turks 
still  fondly  looked  back  to  their  hilly  native  land,  and 
found  the  sultry  climate  of  India  unbearable.  All  that 
Mahmud  wanted  was  the  vast  wealth  which  India  possessed, 
and  when  this  was  obtained,  he  returned  to  Ghazni,  un- 
mindful of  annexation  or  permanent  conquest.  But,  still, 
the  task  was  formidable,  and  Mahmud  was  made  of  the  stuff 
of  which  martyrs  are  made.  His  expeditions  testify  to  the 
boldness  of  conception,  vigour  of  mind,  and  undaunted  cour- 
age against  heavy  odds.  A  born  military  leader,  he  never 
shrank  from  war,  always  sustained  in  his  endeavours  by 
the  thought  that  he  was  fighting  for  the  glory  of  Islam. 
He  died  in  April  1030  at  Ghazni  at  the  age  of  sixty, 
leaving  untold  treasures  and  vast  possessions  behind. 

Although  a  great  conqueror,  Mahmud  was  no  barbarian. 

Himself  illiterate,  he  appreciated  the  works 

Estimate  of      of  art,  and  drew  around  himself  by  means  of 

-Mahmud.  _  .      _      .  ,  .  ,  .          •        , 

t  his  lavish  generosity  a  galaxy  of  pmmenjt 


poets  and  scholars  among  whom  were  some  leading 
figures  of  the  eastern  world  of  letters,  such  as  the 
^ersatil^AJ-Biruni,  the  mathematician,  philosopher,  as- 
tronomer *m<T^  scholar  ^tJtbi,  the  historian,  Parabi, 
ihe  philosopher,  and  Baihaki,  whom  Stanley  Lane-Pool  $ 
aptly  describes  as  the*"*4  brieiital  Pepys. "  It  was  an  age 
of  poetry,  and  some  of  the  poets  who  lived  at  Mahmud  ?s 
court  were  well-known  all  over  Asia.  Among  these  were 
^  Ujpari,  the  poet-laureate  of  Ghazni,  Farrukhi,  and  Asjadi 
who  is  the  author  of  the  following  well-known  quatrain  : 

1 1  do  repent  of  wine  and  talk  of  wine 
Of  idols  fair  with  chins  like  silver  fine 
A  lip-repentance  and  a  lustful  heart, 
0  God,  forgive  this  penitence  of  mine/ 

But  the  most  famous  of  all  these  was  Firdausi,  the- 
author  of  the  world-famed  Shahnama,  whose  great  epic 
has  placed  Mahmud  among  the  immortals  of  history, 
Mahmud  gave  him  only  60  thousand  silver  dirhams  for 
completing  the  Shahnama,  though  he  had  promised 
60  thousand  mishkals  of  gold.  At  this  the  poet  was 
so  offended  that  he  wrote  a  satire  upon  the  king  and 
left  Ghazni  for  good. '  Mahmud  at  last  made  amends  for  his 

1  This  is  Browne's  rendering  of  Firdausi' s  satire   in  his   "  Literary 

History  of  Persia  "  : 


Long  years  this  Shahnama  I  toiled  to  complete, 

That  the  king  might  award  me  some  recompense  meet, 

But  naught  save  a  heart  writhing  with  grief  and  despair 

Did  I  get  from  those  promises  empty  as  air ! 

Had  the  sire  of  the  king  been  prince  of  renown, 

My  forehead  had  surely  been  graced  by  a  crown  I 

[  Were  his  mother  a  lady  of  high  pedigree, 

tln  silver  and  gold  had  I  stood  to  knee! 
3ut,  being  by  birth  not  a  prince  but  a  boor, 
The  praise  of  the  noble  he  could  not  endure !  s 

THE  RISE  AND  FALL  OF  iftE  GHAZNAWIDES          55 

mistake,  but  when  the  belated  60  thousand  gold  coins 
arrived,  the  poet's  corpse  was  being  carried  in  a  bier  to 
the  grave. 

Mahmud  was  stern  and  implacable  in  administering 
justice  and  was  always  ready  to  protect  the  persons  and 
property  of  his  subjects.  There  is  no  need  to  repeat 
the  charge  of  avarice  brought  against  the  Sultan,  as  it  can- 
not  be  refuted.  Mahmud  loved  money  passionately,  but 
he  also  spent  it  lavishly.  He  promoted  learning  by  estab-[ 
lishing  a  university  at  Ghazni,  a  library,  and  a  museum, 
adorned  with  the  trophies  of  war,  which  he  brought  from 
conquered  lands.  It  was  through  his  liberality  that  beautiful 
edifices  rose  at  his  capital,  making  it  one  of  the  finest 
cities  in  Asia. 

It  is  not  difficult  to  determine  Mahmud's  place  in  his* 
tory.  To  the  Musalmans  of  his  day,  he  was  a  Gha&i  who 
tried  to  extirpate  infidelity  in  heathen  lands.  To  the  Hindus, 
he  is  to  this  day  a  veritable  Hun  who  destroyed  their  most 
sacred  shrines  and  wounded  their  religious  feelings.  The 
impartial  enquirer,  however,  must  record  a  different  verdict. 
To  him,  the  Sultan  was  a  born  leader  of  men,  a  just  and 
upright  ruler,  an  intrepid  and  gifted  soldier,  a  dispenser  of 
justice,  a  patron  of  letters,  and  deserves  to  be  ranked  among 
the  greatest  personalities  of  the  world. 

But  his  work  did  not  endure.  The  mighty  fabric 
that  he  had  built  up  crumbled  to  pieces  in  the  hands  of  his 
weak  successors,  as  consolidation  did  not  keep  pace  with 

Firdausi  was  born  at  Tus  in  Rhorasan  about  960  A.D.,  and  died 
in  1020  A.D.  Mahmud  had  promised  him  a  handsome  reward,  but  he 
was  deprived  of  it  through  the  intrigues  of  Ayaz,  one  of  Mahmud's 
favourites  who  entertained  ill  feelings  towards  the  poet.  (Elliot,  IV* 
pp.  190—92.) 


vMahmud  failed  to  establish  peace  and  order  in  the 
lands  which  he  conquered  by  sheer  dint  of  his  valour.  A 
Muslim  mystic  is  reported  to  have  said  of  him :  "  He  is  a 
stupid  fellow.  Without  being  able  to  manage  what  he 
already  possesses  he  yet  goes  out  to  conquer  new  countries." 
Lawlessness  prevailed  in  the  empire,  jand  brigand  chiefs 
practised  their*  nefarious  trade  with  impunity.  //  There  was 
no  well-organised  system  of  police  to  put  down  crime  and 
check  the  forces  of  disorder.  ^Mahmud  devised  no  laws 
or  institutions  for  the  benefit  of  his  subjects.^Local  liberties 
were  suppressed,7and  men  of  different  nationalities  were 
formed  into  an  empire  by  force,  r  No  bond  united  them 
except  their  subordination  or  subservience  to  a  common  chief. 
I  The  officers  of  Mahmud  who  were  all  imperialists  followed 
their  master,  and  showed  greater  interest  in  the  expansion 
of  the  empire  than  in  the  establishment  of  an  orderly  and 
methodical  administration.  Such  a  political  organisation 
as  Mahmud 's  could  not  last  long  and  as  soon  as  his  master- 
hand  was  stiffened  in  death,  the  elements  of  disorder 
asserted  themselves  with  great  vigour  and  undermined 
the  imperial  capacity  for  resistance.  As  Mr.  Habib  puts 
it  when  the  Saljuqs  knocked  down  the  purposeless  structure 
no  one  cared  to  weep  over  its  fate. 

Mahmud   came    to   India   as  a   religious  zealot  ac- 
companied    by     men   who  were    prepared    to    sacrifice 

themselves  in   what  they  deemed  a  sacred 
and    cause.      He    fully    exploited    the  religious 

sentiments  of  his  followers,  though  he 
found  no  time  to  make  conversions  from  among'  the 
native  population.  The  following  observations  of  a 
modern  Muslim  writer  will  be  found  interesting  in  this 
connection : 


No  honest  historian  should  seek  to  hide,  and  no 
Musalman  acquainted  with  his  faith  will  try  to  justify 
the  wanton  destruction  of  temples  that  followed  in 
the  wake  of  the  Ghaznavide  army.  Contemporary  as 
well  as  later  historians  do  not  attempt  to  veil  the  nefari- 
ous acts  but  relate  them  with  pride.  It  is  easy,  to  twist 
one's  conscience  ;  and  we  know  only  too  well  how  easy 
it  is  to  find  a  religious  justification  for  what  people 
wish  to  do  from  worldly  motives.  Islam  sanctioned 
neither  the  van<Jalism^*ior  the  plundering  motives  of 
the  invader  ;  no  principle  known  to  the  Shariat  justi- 
fied the  uncalled  for  attack  on  Hindu  princes  who  had 
done  Mahmud  and  his  subjects  no  harm  ;  the  shameless 
destruction  of  places  of  worship  *  is  condemned  in 
law  of  every  creed.  And  yet  Islam,  though  it  was 
not  an  inspiring  motive,  could  be  utilised  as  an 
a  posteriori  justification  of  what  had  been  done.  It 
was  not  difficult  to  mistake  the  spoliation  of  non- 
Muslim  populations  for  a  service  to  Islam,  and  per- 
sons to  whom  the  argument  was  addressed  found  it 
too  much  in  consonance  with  the  promptings  of  their 
own  passions  to  examine  it  critically.  So  the  precepts 
of  the  Quran  were  misinterpreted  or  ignored  and  the 
tolerant  policy  of  the  second  Caliph  was  cast  aside, 
in  order  that  Mahmud  and  his  myrmidons  might  be 
able  to  plunder  Hindu  temples  with  a  clear  and  un- 
troubled conscience.  "  l 

Abu  RihSn  better  known  as  Al-Biruni  was  born  in  973 
in  the  'country  of  modern  KhlvS  and  was  captured  by  Mah- 

Al-Biruni  mud'  When  h6  Con(31uered  {t  in  1017  A-D-      He 

came  to  India  in  the  train  of  Mahmud  and 

1  Habib,  '  Sultan  Mahmud  of  Ghaznin,'  p.  79. 


stayed  in  the  country  for  some  time.  He  sympathetically 
studied  the  manners,  customs,  and  institutions  of  the 
Hindus  and  has  left  us  a  vivid  account  of  them  which 
throws  much  light  upon  the  conditions  of  those  times.  He 
writes  that  the  country  was  parcelled  out  among  petty 
chiefs,  all  independent  of  one  another  and  often  fighting 
amongst  themselves.  He  mentions  Kashmir,  Sindh,  Malwa, 
Gujarat,  Bengal,  and  Kanauj  as  important  kingdoms. 
About  the  social  condition  of  the  Hindus  he  writes  that 
child  marriage  prevailed  among  them ;  widows  were  not 
permitted  to  marry  again,  and  Sati  was  in  vogue.  Idol 
worship  was  common  throughout  the  land,  and  vast  riches 
were  accumulated  in  temples  which  fired  the  lust  of 
Muhammadan  conquerors.  Al-Biruni  studied  and  appre- 
ciated the  philosophy  of  the  Upani§a^.  He  writes  that 
the  vulgar  people  were  polytheists,  but  the  cultured  classes 
believed  God  to  be  'one,  eternal,  without  beginning  and 
end,  acting  by  free  will,  almighty,  all-wise,  living,  giving 
life,  ruling  and  preserving.' 

The  administration  of  justice,  though  crude  and  pri- 
mitive in  many  ways,  was  liberal  and  'humane.  Written 
complaints  were  filed,  and  cases  were  decided  on  the  testi- 
mony of  witnesses.  The  criminal  law  was  mild,  and  Al- 
Biruni  compares  the  mildness  of  the  Hindus  with  the 
leniency  of  the  Christians.  Brahmans  were  exempt  from 
capital  punishment.  Theft  was  punished  according  to  the 
value  of  the  property  stolen,  and  mutilation  of  limbs  was  re- 
cognised as  an  appropriate  penalty  for  certain  offences.  Taxa- 
tion was  mild.  The  state  took  only  one-sixth  of  the  produce 
of  the  soil,  and  Brahmans  were  exempt  from  taxation. 

There  is  ample  evidence  in  Al-Biruni's  pages  of  India's, 
degeneracy  and  decay.    Politically  she  was  disunited,  and. 


rival  states  fought  against  one  another  in  complete  dis- 
regard of  national  interests.  Probably  the  word  national 
had  no  meaning  for  them.  Religion  was  encumbered  by 
superstition,  and  society  was  held  in  the  grip  of  a  rigid 
caste  system  which  rendered  the  unification  of  the  various 
groups  impossible.  Indeed,  in  many  respects  India  present- 
ed a  parallel  to  mediaeval  Europe,  and  as  a  distinguished 
writer  observes,  "  Everything  bore  the  appearance  of  dis-j 
integration  and  decay  ;  and  national  life  became  extinct."  ! 
Masud,  who  proclaimed  himself  king  in  1031  A.D. 
after  his  father's  death  by  setting  aside  his  younger  brother. 

was  a  true  son  of  his  father,  full  of  ambition, 
s^J.  lesser. U  d  9  courage,  and  warlike  zeal.  The  magnificence 

of  the  court  of  Ghazni  was  unequalled  in 
that  age,  and  Baihaki  relates  in  his  memoirs  how  the 
Sultan  passed  his  days  in  pomp  and  splendour.  Though 
drunken  orgies  were  not  unusual  for  even  the  great 
Mahmud,  Masud  carried  them  to  excess,  and  himself 
became  the  leader  of  a  notorious  party  of  drunkards  and 

But  Masud  had  an  able  minister  in  Khwaja  Ahmad 
Maimandi,  whom  he  had  liberated  from  prison  and  restored 

to  office  with  great  honours.  The  Khwaja 
HEasnaktion  °f  set  himself  to  the  task  of  organising  his  office, 

which  had  become  notorious  for  delay  and 
lack  of  promptness  under  his  predecessor.  Under  his  care 
the  administration  soon  began  to  display  a  new  vigour  and 
activity.  While  the  Khwaja  was  thus  honoured,  his  pre- 
decessor in  office,  Hasnak,  accused  of  Karmatian  heresy, 
was  put  in  chains,  tried,  and  executed.  After  the  execu- 
tion, Hasnak 's  head  was  served  up  in  a  dish  at  a  feast  held 
by  Bu'Suhal  to  the  complete  horror  of  the  guests.  Such 


was  the  uncertainty  of  life  and  tenure  of  office  under  the 
demoralised  Ghaznawides. 

But  Masud  was  no  roi  faineant.    His  contemporaries 
feared  him  both  on  the  score  of  his  physical  prowess  and  his 
kingly  dignity.    He  now  turned  his  attention 

to  the  affairs  in  India>  which  had  been  left 

in  charge  of  Ariyarak. 

Secure  in  the  possession  of  a  vast  territory,  the  ambi- 
tious Ghaznawide  commander  of  Hind  had  begun  to  behave 
as  an  autocrat  and  cared  little  for  the  fiats  of  his  sovereign. 
Masud,  though  a  slave  to  drink  and  dissipation,  knew  how 
to  assert  his  dignity  when  his  own  authority  was  flouted 
or  disregarded.  Ariyarak  was  induced  to  proceed  ,to 
Ghazni  where  he  was  cast  into  prison,  and  probably 
poisoned.  Ahmad  Niyaltgin  was  appointed  to  the  command 
of  the  Indian  province,  though  he  had  to  leave  his  son  at 
Ghazni  as  a  hostage  under  a  nominal  pretext.  The  new 
viceroy  was  hardly  less  ambitious  than  his  predecessor, 
and  he  too,  in  Baihaki's  words,  "  turned  away  from  the 
path  of  rectitude  and  took  a  crooked  course." 

Ahmad  Niyaltgin,  on  coming  to  India,  found  it  difficult 
to  get  on  with  his  colleague,  Qazi  Shiraz,  and  as  he  did  not 
Trea  son   of    consu^  '^e  latter  in  the  discharge  of  his  duties, 
Ahmad  Niyait-     a  quarrel  soon  broke  out  between  the  two. 
*in*  But    when    the    matter    was    referred    to 

Ghazni,  the  Qazi  received  a  strong  rebuff,  and  was  ordered 
to  leave  military  affairs  alone.  Thereupon,  Niyaltgin 
undertook  an  expedition  to  Benares,  tempted  by  the  prospect 
of  plundering  the  wealth  of  this  ancient  and  venerated 
city  of  the  Hindus.  The  expedition  was  a  great  success. 
The  Qazi,  however,  could  not  bear  the  success  of  his 
rival,  and  sent  spies  to  inform  the  Sultan  that  Niyaltgin 


gave  himself  out  as  the  son  of  Sultan  Mahmud,  and 
aimed  at  independence.  In  every  possible  way,  the 
enemies  of  Niyaltgin  poisoned  the  Sultan's  mind  and  im- 
pressed upon  him  the  necessity  of  immediate  interven- 

Official  after  official  volunteered  to  go  to  Hindustan  to 
restore  order,  but  the  choice,  at  last,  fell  upon  Tilak,  a 
Hindu  of  low  birth,  but  of  great  ability  and  courage.  As 
a  mark  of  royal  favour,  he  was  granted  a  gold-embroidered 
robe,  a  jewelled  necklace  of  gold,  a  canopy  and  an  umbrella; 
and  kettle-drums  were  beaten,  and  ensigns  with  gilded 
tops  were  unfurled  at  his  residence,  in  accordance  with 
Hindu  fashion,  to  proclaim  his  elevation  to  high  official 
dignity.  The  philosophical  Baihaki  wrote,  "Wise  men  do 
not  wonder  at  such  facts,  because  nobody  is  born  great- 
men  become  such." 

When  Tilak  reached  Lahore,  his  presence  struck  terror 
into  the  hearts  of  the  followers  of  Ahmad  Niyaltgin,  and 
the  rebellious  governor  fled  for  dear  life.  He  was,  however, 
defeated  in  a  sharp  engagement,  and  a  price  of  500,000  dir- 
hams  was  set  upon  his  head  by  Tilak,  when  the  rebel  eluded 
the  grasp  of  his  pursuers.  The  Jats,  who  were  all  familiar 
with  the  desert  and  the  wilds,  caught  hold  of  Ahmad,  and 
cut  off  his  head.  Masud  was  delighted  at  the  news  of  vic- 
tory, and  encouraged  by  this  success  he  determined  to  fulfil 
his  old  vow  of  capturing  the  fort  of  Hansi. l  In  vain  did  the 
veteran  Khwaja  urge  upon  him  the  impolicy  of  such  a  step, 
but  the  obstinate  Sultan  replied:  "The  vow  is  upon  my 
neck,  and  accomplish  it,  I  will,  in  my  own  person/'  The 

1  Hansi  is  a  city  with  a  ruined  castle,  eleven  miles  to  the  east  of 


ministers  bowed  their  heads  in  profound  submission,  and 
the  Khwaja  was  invested  with  plenary  authority  at 

The  Sultan  started  from  Ghazni  in  October  1037  A.D., 
-and  after  a  long  march  reached  the  town  of  Hansi.    The 

invaders  laid  siege  to  the  fortress  hitherto 
e     °f     deemed  impregnable  by  the  Hindus.    Though 

the  garrison  heroically  defended  itself,  the 
Muslims  took  the  fortress  by  storm,  and  seized  an  enormous 
booty.  Having  placed  the  fortress  in  charge  of  a  reliable 
official,  the  Sultan  marched  towards  Sonpat,  a  place  not  far 
from  Delhi.  The  Muslims  easily  captured  it,  as  the  chief 
offered  no  resistance  and  the  victorious  Sultan  returned 
to  Ghazni. 

The  expedition  to  India  turned  out  a  blunder.  Taking 
advantage  of  the  Sultan's  absence,  the  Saljuq  Turks  harried 
the  territories  of  Ghazni,  and  sacked  a  portion  of  the  capital. 
Masud  marched  against  the  invaders,  but  at  Dandankan, 
near  Merv,  he  was  overpowered  by  them  on  March  24, 
1040  A.D.  This  crushing  defeat  at  the  hands  of  the 
Saljuqs  compelled  the  Ghaznawides  to  withdraw  towards 

The  vanquished  Sultan  fled  towards  Hindustan  in  spite 
of  the  advice  of  the  aged  minister  who  vainly  pleaded  with 

him  to  remain  at  Ghazni.  When  the  royal 
totoSuiflight  Party  reached  Marigalah,1  the  Turkish  and 

Hindu  slaves  mutinied,  and  placed  upon  the 
throne  the  Sultan's  younger  brother  Muhammad.  Masud 
was  cast  into  prison  and  put  to  death  in  1041  A.D. 

1  A  pass  situated  between  Rawalpindi  and  Attock,  a  few  miles  east 
of  Hasan  Abdal. 


Thus  perished  by  the  cruel  hand  of  the  assassin,  a  king 
•who,  like  his  father,  extended  his  patronage  to  men  of 
letters,  built  mosques,  and  endowed  schools  and  colleges 
in  the  various  cities  of  his  wide  dominions.  Thus  does  Bai- 
haki  observe  in  a  characteristically  fatalistic  vein  :"  Man 
has  no  power  to  strive  against  fate.'* 

After  Masud's  death,  his  son  Maudud  ascended  the 
throne,  and  defeated  his  uncle  Muhammad  in  an  engage- 
The      weak     ment>  ^UQ  avenging  the  death  of  his  father. 
successors   of     Maudud   was  succeeded  by  a  series  of  weak 
Masud.  rulers  whose  uneventful  careers  deserve  little 

mention.  TheSaljuq  pressure  continued,  and  the  Ghaz* 
nawide  empire  lost  much  of  its  territory.  The  Saljuqs  even- 
tually inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon  the  Ghaznawides,  and 
the  last  independent  ruler  of  Ghazni,  Arslan,  fled  to  Hindus- 
tan where  he  died  in  a  state  of  misery  in  the  year  1117  A.D. 
The  Saljuqs  thus  established  their  influence  at  Ghazni, 
and  dominated  the  titular  Ghaznawide  ruler,  Bahram, 
who  owed  his  crown  to  them.  Bahrain's  reign  would 
have  ended  gloriously,  had  it  not  been  for  the  quarrels  that 
arose  between  him  and  the  Maliks  of  Ghor,  a  small  mountain 
principality  between  Ghazni  and  Herat.  These  warlike 
Afghans  had  fought  under  the  banner  of  Mahmud,  but  when 
the  sceptre  of  Ghazni  passed  into  feeble  hands,  they  treated 
them  with  scant  respect.  Matters  came  to  a  crisis,  when  a 
Suri  prince  was  put  to  death  by  Bahrain's  order.  The  brother 
of  the  deceased  led  an  attack  against  Ghazni,  but  he  was  de- 
feated and  killed.  Alauddin  Husain,  another  brother,  swore 
to  wreak  vengeance  upon  the  house  of  Ghazni.  He  marched 
upon  Ghazni,  at  the  head  of  a  large  army,  and  won  a  splendid 
victory  in.  1150  A.D.  Bahrain  escaped  to  India,  but  he 
returned  to  Ghazni  again  and  recovered  his  lost  power. 


Bahrain  died  in  1152  A.D.  and  was  followed  by  his  soft 
Khusrau  Shah  who  was  quite  unfit  to  deal  with  the  new 
situation.  The  Ghuzz  Turkomans  advanced  upon  Ghazni, 
whereupon  Khusrau  Shah  escaped  to  India.  The  implacable 
Alauddin  destroyed  the  finest  buildings  of  the  city  and 
massacred  the  whole  populace.  Khusrau  Shah  died  in 
exile  at  Lahore  in  1160  A.D. 

The  condition  of  the  empire  grew  worse,  and  under 
Khusrau  Malik,  the  new  pleasure-loving  ruler  of  Ghazni, 
the  administration  fell  into  a  state  of  utter  chaos.  The 
power  of  Ghazni  rapidly  declined,  and  the  house  of  Ghor  rose 
into  prominence.  Alauddin's  nephew  Ghiyas-ud-din  brought 
Ghazni  under  his  control,  about  the  year  1173,  and  entrusted 
it  with  its  dependencies  including  Kabul  to  the  charge  of 
his  brother,  Muiz-ud-din  bin  Sam,  better  known  in  history 
as  Muhammad  Ghori.  Muiz-ud-din,  who  had  an  inborn  apti- 
tude for  war  and  adventure,  led  repeated  attacks  against 
Hindustan,  and  compelled  Khusrau  Malik  to  make  peace  and 
surrender  his  son  as  security  for  the  fulfilment  of  treaty  obli- 
gations. Later,  even  Khusrau  was  taken  prisoner  by  strata- 
gems and  false  promises,  and  put  to  death  in  1201  A.D.  A 
similar  catastrophe  befell  his  son  Bahram  Shah,  and  the  line 
of  Subuktagin  came  to  an  inglorious  end.  The  sovereignty 
of  Ghazni  now  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Ghori  chiefs. 

Thus  after  nearly  two  centuries,  the  empire  of  Ghazni 
disappeared  from  history.  An  empire  which  rested  purely 
upon  a  military  basis,  could  not  last  long  with- 
1  the  out  capable  and  warlike  rulers.  Mahmud  had 
established  no  institutions  which  could  hold 
his  wide  dominions  together.  The  unwieldy  empire  had  no 
principle  of  cohesion  or  unity,  and  speedily  broke  up  after 
hjs  death.  The  untold  wealth  obtained  from  Hindustan 


fostered  luxury  among  his  weak  successors  and  rendered 
them  unfit  for  the  strenuous  duties  of  war.  Once  the 
rotten  character  of  the  political  system  became  known, 
disorders  began  on  all  sides.  The  profligate  Ghaznawides 
were  no  match  for  their  enemies  who  continued  to  seize 
large  slices  of  Ghazni  territory.  As  disorder  increased  in 
the  Afghan  regions,  India  also  began  to  seethe  with  dis- 
content The  multifarious  troubles  of  the  rulers  of  Ghazni 
made  it  difficult  for  them  to  deal  properly  with  the  Indian 
problem.  But  the  chiefs  of  Ghor  were  men  of  a  different 
stamp.  They  were  better  fitted  to  lead  and  command  the 
unruly  Turks,  and  knew  how  to  employ  their  valour  and 
zeal  for  purposes  of  self-aggrandisement. 


Muhammad  Ghori's  attempt  to  seize  the  Muslim  prov- 
inces of  Hindustan  was  a  remarkable  success.  His  expedi- 
Muhammad's  tion  to  Uccha  against  the  Bhatti  Raj  puts  suc- 
indian  Cam-  ceeded  on  account  of  treachery.  He  took 
paigB'  Multan  from  the  Karmatian  heretics  in  1174 

A.D.  Bhima  Deva,  the  Raja  of  Nehrwala,  however,  inflicted 
a  crushing  defeat  upon  the  invaders  who  then  captured 
Peshawar,  and  subdued  the  whole  of  Sindh  down  to  the 
sea-coast.  Having  failed  to  capture  the  fortress  of  Lahore, 
Mohammad  concluded  a  peace  with  Khusrau  Malik,  and 
returned  to  Ghazni.  After  his  departure,  Khusrau  Malik 
laid  siege  to  the  fortress  of  Sialkot,  assisted  by  the  Khokhar 
tribes,  but  failed  to  capture  it.  When  the  news  reached  the 
Sultan,  he  again  undertook  an  expedition  against  Lahore, 
and  by  a  stratagem  he  captured  Khusrau  Malik  in  1186  A.D., 
and  put  an  end  to  the  rule  of  the  dynasty  of  Subuktagin. 
Lahore  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  victorious  chieftain. 

Muhammad  was  still  far  from  being  master  of  Hindu- 
stan. In  the  interior,  lay  Rajput  kingdoms,  wealthy  and 
powerful,  which  were  always  ready  to  give  battle  to  the 
foreigner  who  dared  to  invade  their  territory.  The  hillmen 
of  Ghazni  and  Ghor  had  never  encountered  such  dauntless 
fighters  as  the  Rajputs.  But  Jthejeudal  organisation  of  the 
.Rajput  society  was  the  principal  cause  of  its  weakness. 
•The  rivalries  and  feuds  of  the  dans  hampered  unity  of 


action,  and  the  Invidious  caste  distinction  prevent^ 
Inferior  classes  among  the  Ralputa  from  being 

with  the  prftfflj  pohiPga*  Only  fh*  moii-Knm  could  hold 
Heis,  and  this  exclusive  spirit  tended  to  make  the  aristo- 
cracy hereditary  and  selfish.  It  was  impossible  for  these 
Rajput  governments,  based  as  they  were  upon  a  system  of 
feuds,  to  last  long,  and,  no  wonder,  if  the  first  shock  of  the 
Muslim  invasion  shook  Rajput  India  to  its  foundations. 

Having  organised  his  forces,  Muhammad  marched 
towards  the  frontier  town  of  Sarhind,  which  had  a  greal 
strategic  importance  in  the  middle  ages,  and  captured  it 
The  most  powerful  Rajput  clans  which  exercised  authority 
in  Northern  India  were  (1)  the  Gaharwars,  afterwards 
known  as  the  Rathors  of  Kanauj,  (2)  the^ChohSns  of 
Delhi  and  Ajmer,  (3)  the  Palas  and  Senas"  of  Bihar  and 
Bengal,  (4)  the  Baghelas  of  Gujarat,  and  (5)  the  Chandelas 
of  Bundelkhand.  The  most  powerful  of  these  were  the 
rulers  of  Delhi  and  Kanauj,  whose  rivalry  made  it  impos- 
sible for  them  to  stem  the  tide  of  foreign  invasion. 

Prithviraja,  who  had  succeeded  to  the  kingdoms  of 
Delhi  and  Ajmer,  and  who  had  established  a  great  reputa-{ 
tion  for  chivalry  and  heroic  exploits,  marched 

viraja.       aga{nst  fae  Qhori  chief,  and  encountered  the 

Muslim  host  atjarainj  a  village  fourteen  miles  from 
Thanesar  in  1191  A.  D.  Jayachandra,  the  Rathor  Raja  of 
Kanauj,  was  the  only  prince  who  kept  aloof  from  this  war  ; 
for  Prithviraja  had  insulted  him  by  carrying  off  h?^  dfflif  *****- 
by  force.  The  Sultan  followed  the  time-honoured  tactics 
of  the  right,  left,  and  centre,  and  himself  occupied  a  posi- 
tion in  the  middle  of  his  army.  The  Rajputs  charged  both 

1  In  most  histories  it  is   written  as  Narain,  which  is  incorrect, 
.Lane  Poole  too  incorrectly  writes  Narain.    (Mediaeval  India,  p.  61.) 


wings  of  the  Muslim  army  with  tremendous  vigour  and 
scattered  it  in  all  directions,  while  Govind  Rai,  the  Raja's 
brother,  inflicted  a  severe  wound  on  the  Sultan,  who  was 
luckily  carried  off  the  field  of  battle  by  a  faithful  Khilji 
warrior.  This  disaster  caused  a  panic  among  the  Muslims 
who  immediately  dispersed  in  all  directions.  Never  before, 
had  they  experienced  such  a  terrible  rout  at  the  hands  of 
the  Hindus.  When  the  Sultan  reached  Ghor,  he  publicly 
disgraced  those  officers  who  had  fled  from  the  field  of  battle. 

With  a  large  army,  well-organised  and  accoutred,  the 
Sultan  marched  from  Ghazni  towards  Hindustan  in  1192 
A.D.  to  wreak  vengeance  upon  the  Hindu 
°f  Princes-  The  forces  of  the  Sultan  again  en- 
camped near  Tarain.  Alarmed  for  the  safety 
of  Hindu  India,  Prithviraja  called  upon  his  fellow  Rajput 
princes  to  rally  round  his  banner  to  fight  the  Turks.  His 
appeal  met  with  an  enthusiastic  response,  and  as  many  as 
150  Rajput  princes  joined  the  colours  of  the  Chohan 

From  morning  till  sunset  the  battle  raged  fiercely. 
While  the  enemy  was  tired,  the  Sultan,  at  the  head  of 
12,000  horse,  made  a  desperate  charge  and  "  carried  death 
and  destruction  throughout  the  Hindu  camp."  The  Rajput 
valour  proved  of  no  avail  against  these  mounted  archers, 
and  a  fearful  slaughter  ensued  on  all  sides.  The  result 
of  the  battle  was  a  foregone  conclusion.  The  Hindus  in 
spite  of  their  numbers  were  defeated  by  the  Muslims.  The 
Muhammadan  historians  write  that  Prithviraja  fled  from 
the  field,  but  he  was  captured  near  Sirsuti, '  and  finally 
4  despatched  to  hell/ 

1  It  vas  a  city  on  the  banks  of  the  ancient  Saraswati.    In  Akbar's- 
me  Sirsuti  was  one  of  the  mahals  of  Sarkar  Sambhal. 


The  defeat  of  Prithviraja  was  an  irreparable  blow  to 
Eajput  power.  The  demoralisation  caused  by  this  defeat 
was  great,  and  the  Muslims  easily  captured  Sirsuti,  Saraana, 
Kuhram  and  Hansi.  The  Sultan  proceeded  towards  Ajmer, 
which  was  given  up  to  plunder,  and  some  thousands  of  the 
inhabitants  were  put  to  the  sword.  The  city  was  made 
over  to  a  natural  son  of  Prithviraja  on  promise  of  punc- 
tual payment  of  tribute.  Having  left  his  faithful 
lieutenant  Qutb-ud-din  Aibek  in  charge  of  his  Indian 
possessions,  the  Sultan  returned  to  Ghazni.  Qutb-ud-din, 
in  a  short  time,  conquered  Mirat  (Meerut),  Kol  l 
and  Delhi,  the  last  of  which  he  made  the  seat  of  his 

Beyond  Delhi,  in  the  heart  of  the  Doab,  lay  the 
principality  of  the  Rathor  clan  with  its  capital  at 
Kanauj  renowned  all  over  India  as  a  nur- 
°f  sery  of  warriors  and  statesmen.  Its  ruler 
Jayachandra,  famous  alike  in  legend  and 
history,  was  reputed  as  one  of  the  most  powerful 
princes  of  the  time.  Jayachandra  had,  perhaps,  hoped 
that,  after  the  defeat  of  Prithviraja,  he  would  become  the 
paramount  sovereign  of  all  Hindustan,  but  his  hopes  were 
doomed  to  disappointment.  In  1194  A.D.  Sultan  Muham- 
mad marched  from  Ghazni  against  the  Raja  of  Eanauj. 
No  confederacy  seems  to  have  been  organised  by  the  latter 
to  withstand  the  Muslim  attack ;  probably  the  defeat  of 
Prithviraja  had  cooled  the  enthusiasm  and  crushed  the 
spirit  of  the  Rajputs  who  might  have  otherwise  rallied 
round  his  banner.  The  Muslims  inflicted  a  crushing  defeat 
upon  the  Rajput  army  encamped  in  the  plain  between 

1  Kol  is  a  place  near  Aligarh.    It  has  an    old  fortress  which  still 


Ghandwar  and  Etawah.  Jayachandra  received  a  mortal 
wound  from  an  arrow  and  fell  down  on  the  earth.  The 
Rathors,  after  this  discomfiture,  migrated  to  Rajputana, 
where  they  founded  the  principality  of  Jodhpur.  The 
victorious  Sultan  now  marched  against  Benares,  where  he 
destroyed  temples  and  ordered  mosques  to  be  built  in  their 
places.  He  then  returned  to  the  fort  of  Kol,  and,  laden 
with  the  spoils  of  war,  returned  to  Ghazni. 

Qutb-ud-din's  career  in  Hindustan  was  one  of  unbroken 

triumph.    He  marched  against  Ajmer,   and  restored  its 

lawful  ruler,  a  vassal  of  Ghazni,  but  appoint- 

Other  0  o  n*          i         •»  *•      • .  .  1* 

quests.  e(*  a  Muslim    governor  to  exercise  control 

over  him.    From  Ajmer,  Aibek  marched  his 

forces  against    Bhima    Deva,    the    Raja    of    Nehrwala, 

whom  he  defeated.    Gwalior,   Biyana,   and  other  places 

were  compelled  to  acknowledge  the  suzerainty  of  Ghazni. 

Muhammad  bin  Bakhtiyar  Khilji,  an   '  intrepid,   bold, 

and    sagacious  '  general,  accomplished    the    conquest  of 

Bihar  with  astonishing  ease.    He  led  an  or- 

^Oonquest   of     ganiged  attack  against  the  province,  probably 

in  1197  A.D.,  at  the  head  of  a  small  detach- 
ment  of  200  horsemen,  and  quickly  captured  the  principal 
fortresses.  The  Buddhist  monasteries,  or  viharas,  were 
demolished,  and  a  large  number  of  books  were  seized, 
and  scattered  by  the  invaders.  It  was  the  idolatry  of 
latter-day  Buddhism  which  stimulated  the  zeal  of  the 
Muslims,  and  the  debris  of  Buddhist  viharas  and  stupas 
that  exist  to  this  day,  bear  testimony  to  their  iconoclastic 
zeal.  The  Muslim  raid  on  Bihar  gave  a  death-blow  to 
Buddhism  ;  but  it  appears  from  an  inscription  of  Vidya- 
dhara  dated  Samvat  1276  (1219  A.D.)  that  it  did  not 
wholly  disappear  from  Northern  India. 


The  conquest  of  Bihar  was  followed  by  that  of  Bengal. 
The  Muslim  chronicler,  relying  upon  the  account  furnished 
by  a  certain  *°\<iteT  of  Parghana  in  the  ser- 


°      vice  of  Muhammad  bin    Bakhtiyar,  writes 

that  the  intrepid  general  marched  to  the 
city  of  Nudiah  at  the  head  of  a  small  party  of  18  horse- 
men and  that  the  aged  Rai  on  hearing  of  his  approach  fled 
from  a  back  door  of  his  palace  and  sought  shelter  at 
Vikrampur  near  Sonargaon  which  was  a  place  resorted 
to  by  all  discontented  men  at  Gaur.  '  This  is  an  exaggerated 
account  of  what  actually  happened.  Muhammad  des- 
troyed the  city  of  Nudiah  and  made  Lakhnauti  or 
Gaur  his  capital.  The  khutba  was  read  and  coins  were 
struck  in  the  name  of  Sultan  Muiz-ud-din.  A  large  portion 
of  the  enormous  booty  seized  by  Muhammad  was  sent  to 

In  1202  A.D.  Qutb-ud-din  marched  against  Parmardi, 

the  Chandela  Prince  of  Bundelkhand.    The  latter  found  it 

On       t   of     *mposs*kle  to  resist  effectively  the  Muslims, 

Ka^njaT!     °      and  the  fort  of  Kalanjar  fell  into  the  hands 

of  the  victors.  The  forts  of  Kalpi  and 
Badaon  were  subdued  next,  and  in  this  way  all  the  impor- 
tant places  in  Northern  India  were  brought  under  the 
sway  of  Ghazni  by  Qutb-ud-din. 

The  kings  of  Ghazni  were  not  satisfied  with  their 
Indian  possessions.     They  fondly  looked  towards  the  lands 

The        tide     °f  the  °XUS'  which  the  kin^s  of  Ghazni,  ever 

turn*       l  e    since    the  days  of    Mahmud,  had  tried  in 

vain   to  annex.    Muhammad    followed  the 

1  The  account  of  the  Tabqat-i-Naairi  accepted  in  Mo  by  Dr. 
Vincent  Smith  is  undoubtedly  exaggerated.  The  old  view  has  been 
modified  in  the  new  and  revised  edition  of  his  Early  History  of  India* 


same  practice  and  invaded  Khwarizm  at  the  head  of  a 
large  army  in  the  year  1204  A.D.,  but  the  troops  of  Ghori 
were  pressed  so  hard  by  the  Shah  of  Khwarizm  and 
his  allies  that  they  were  completely  routed,  and  the 
Sultan  with  difficulty  escaped  with  his  life.  As  soon 
as  the  news  of  this  disaster  was  circulated  abroad,  the 
forces  of  confusion  began  to  work.  A  Ghazni  officer  hastily 
went  to  India  and  declared  hjmself  governor  of  Multan  by 
producing  a  forged  royal  order,  and  he  was  accepted  by  the 
army.  Ghazni  shut  its  gates  against  the  unlucky  Sultan, 
and  the  turbulent  Khokhars  stirred  up  strife  and  harried 
the  districts  of  the  Punjab.  The  Sultan  was,  however,  not 
unnerved  by  this  gloomy  prospect.  He  quickly  recovered 
Multan  and  Ghazni,  and  then  marched  towards  Hindustan 
to  chastise  the  Khokhars,  who  suffered  a  crushing  defeat 
near  a  ford  of  the  Jhelam.  Having  obtained  this  victory, 
the  Sultan  returned  to  Lahore. 

The  Khokhar  snake  was  scotched  but  not  killed.  Having 
failed  in  open  engagement,  the  Khokhars  had  recourse  to 
treachery.  Some  of  their  chiefs  who  burnt  with  rage  to 
avenge  the  deaths  of  their  kinsmen  formed  a  conspiracy  to 
take  the  life  of  the  Sultan.  On  his  way  from  Lahore  to 
Ghazni,  the  Sultan  halted  at  Dhamyak  in  the  Jhelam  district 
where  he  was  stabbed  to  death  by  a  fanatic  in  March, 
1246  A.D. 

Not  so  fanatical  as  Mahmud,  Muhammad  was  certainly 

more  political  than  his  predecessor.  He  clearly  perceived  the 

rotten  political  condition  of  India,  and  made 

Estimate    of  i  ••••/•        i  ,       .    . 

Muhammad.       UP  his  mind  to  found  a  permanent  dominion. 
Mahmud's  love  of  wealth  had  blinded  him  to 
the  gains  of  far-reaching  importance,  which  the  Indian  con- 
quest was  bound  to  bring  to  the  conqueror.    Muhammad 


•Ghori,  from  the  outset,  took  a  different  course ;  he  tried  to 
consolidate  his  conquests,  and  in  this  work  he  had  the 
valued  assistance  and  co-operation  of  his  able  lieutenant, 
Qutb-ud-din,  who  afterwards  founded  a  dynasty  of  the 
kings  of  Delhi. 

Mahmud  never  aimed  at  permanent  conquest  ;  he  had 
•come  sweeping  like  a  whirlwind  and  had  returned  to  his 
native  land  after  the  acquisition  of  vast  booty.  Wealth 
-and  the  extirpation  of  idolatry  were  the  objects  of  his 
raids  ;  but  Muhammad  was  a  real  conqueror.  He  conquered 
the  country  and  aimed  at  permanent  settlement.  A  com- 
plete conquest  of  India  was  impossible  as  long  as  warrior- 
<blood  throbbed  within  the  veins  of  the  Rajput  race.  But 
for  the  first  time  the  Muslims  had  brought  extensive  terri- 
tory under  their  direct  sway.  Qutb-ud-din  was  appointed 
viceroy  of  Hindustan,  and  charged  with  the  duty  of  extend- 
ing further  the  dominion  of  Islam— a  fact  which  clearly 
shows  the  object  which  Muhammad  had  in  mind.  It  is 
true,  he  turned  his  eyes  westwards  for  territorial  expansion, 
but  it  would  be  wrong  to  blame  Muhammad  for  following 
a  traditional  policy.  His  work  in  India  was  more  solid. 
The  Muslim  power,  which  he  founded  in  India,  increased 
•as  time  passed,  and  from  humble  beginnings  the  kingdom 
of  Delhi  gradually  developed  into  one  of  the  greatest 
-empires  of  the  east.  It  was  no  mean  contribution  to  the 
greatness  of  Islam. 


(1206-90  A.D.) 

Muhammad  died  without  a  male  heir.  Minhaj-us-Siw 
writes  that  on  one  occasion  when  a  favourite  courtier  spoke 
to  the  Sultan  about  the  default  of  male  heirs, 
.  Qutb-ud-din's  he  replied  with  absolute  indifference  :  "  Other 
thT throne  * t0  monarchs  may  have  one  son,  or  two  sons  :  I 
have  so  many  thousand  sons,  namely,  my  Turki 
slaves,  who  will  be  the  heirs  of  my  dominions,  and  who, 
after  me,  will  take  care  to  preserve  my  name  in  the  khutbU 
throughout  those  territories."  After  the  death,  of  his 
,master,  Qutb-ud-din  Aibek  naturally  came  to  the  forefront. 
He  became  the  ruler  of  Hindustan  and  founded  a  dynasty 
of  kings,  which  is  called  after  his  name.  Originally  Aibek 
was  a  slave.  He  was  purchased  by  the  Qazi  of  Nishapur, 
through  whose  favour  he  acquired  a  reputation  for  courage 
and  manly  bearing.  After  the  Qazi's  death  he  passed 
into  the  hands  of  Sultan  Muiz-ud-din.  Though  ^  ugly  in 
external  appearance,  Aibek  was  endowed  with  "laudable 
qualities  and  admirable  impressions"  ;  and  by  sheer  dint  of 
merit  he  rose  gradually  to  the  position  of  Amir  Akhur  (mas- 
ter of  the  stables).  During  the  Sultan's  expeditions  to  Hin- 
dustan, Aibek  loyally  served  him,  and  as  a  reward  for  his 

1  This  dynasty  has  been  miscalled  the  Blare  dynasty.  The  slaves  who- 
occupied  the  throne  had  been  originally  slaves  but  they  were  manu- 
mitted by  their  masters  and  raised  to  the  rank  of  freemen 



services,  he  was  left  in  charge  of  the  Indian  possessions. 
As  viceroy  of  Hindustan,  he  secured  and  extended  the 
conquests  made  by  his  master.    He  strengthened  himself 
by  matrimonial  connections  ;  he  married  the  daughter  of 
Taj-ud-din  Eldoz,  and  gave  his  sister  in  marriage  to  Qubai- 
chaf  and  his  daughter  to  lltutmish,  one  of  his  own  slaves. 
Aibek  captured  Hansi,   Meerut,    Delhi,  Ranthambhor 
and  Kol,  and  conquered  the  country  as  far  as  Benares.    In 
1197  A.D.  Qutb-ud-din  led  his  forces  against 
r^queT'  °f    Nehrwala.  The  chief  was  defeated  in  a  hotly 
contested  engagement,  and  the  whole  country 
was  ravaged  by  the  Muslims.    For  six  years,  i.e.,  from 
1196  to  1202  A.D.  there  was  cessation  of  warfare  in  India, 
but  in  1202  A.D.  Aibek  marched    against    the    fort   of 
Kalanjar,  captured  it  and  seized  enormous  booty.    Mahoba 
was  occupied  next.    Bengal  and  Bihar  had  already  been 
subjugated  by  Muhammad  Khilji,  son  of   Bakhtiyar,   who 
had  acknowledged  the  suzerainty  of  Qutb-ud-din.    All  Hin- 
dustan, from    Delhi  to  Kalanjar  and  Gujarat,  and  from 
Lakhnauti  to  Lahore,  was  brought  under  the  sway  of  the 
Muhammadans,  though  the  distant  lands  comprised  in  the 
empire  of  Delhi  were  not  thoroughly  subdued. 

Qutb-ud-din  was  a  high-spirited  and  open-handed  mon- 
arch. He  administered  the  country  well,  dispensed  even- 
handed  justice  to  the  people,  and  exerted 
1  md 

himself  to  promote  the  peace  and  prosperity 
of  the  realm.  The  roads  were  freed  from 
robbers,  and  the  Hindus  were  treated  with  kindness,  though 
the  Sultan,  like  'a  mighty  fighter  in  the  way  of  God/ 
captured  thousands  as  slaves  during  his  wars.  His  generosity 
is  praised  by  all  writers  who  style  him  as  lakhbakhaha  or 
giver  of  lakhs. 


Aibek  was  a  powerful  and  capable  ruler  who  always 
maintained  a  high  character.  Brave  and  energetic,  sagacious 
and  just,  according  to  Muslim  ideas,  Aibek  was  devoted  to 
the  faith,  and  as  the  founder  of  a  large  kingdom  on  foreign 
.soil  among  races  whose  martial  grow  ess  was  well-known, 
he  ranks  among  the  great  pioneers  of  Muslim  conquest  in 
India.  He  gave  proof  of  his  religious  zeal  by  building  two 
mosques,  one  at  Delhi  and  another  at  Ajmer.  He  died  in 
1210  A.D.,  from  a  fall  from  his  horse,  while  he  was  playing 
ohaugan, l  leaving  a  large  kingdom  to  his  successor. 

.  Aram  succeeded  his  father,  but  after  a  brief  reign  of 
one  year,  Iltutmish,  who  was  then  governor  of  Badaon, 
1  Conf  u  s  i  o  n  defeated  and  dethroned  him.  At  the  time 
after  Aibek's  of  Aram's  death  Hindustan  was  parcelled  out 

eat  '  into  four  principalities— Sindh  was  held  by 

Qubaicha  ;  Delhi  and  its  contiguous  country  were  in  the 
possession  of  Iltutmish  ;  Lakhnauti  was  held  by  the  Khilji 
Maliks  ;  Lahore  was  held  alternately  by  Qubaicha,  and 
Eldoz  who  was  then  supreme  at  Ghazni. 

Iltutmish  who  ascended  the  throne  in  1210  A.D.  is  the 
greatest  of  the  slave  kings.    He  was  the  slave  of  a  slave,2 

Iitut  m  i  a  h's  w^°  rose  to  em*nence  ^y  sheer  dint  of  merit, 
accession  to  and  it  was  solely  by  virtue  of  his  fitness  that 
-the  throne.  he  superseded  the  hereditary  claimants  to  the 

throne.  But  he  did  not  find  the  throne  of  Delhi  a  bed  of 
roses.  He  had  to  face  a  critical  situation,  as  rivals  like 
Eldoz  and  Qubaicha  aspired  to  universal  dominion,  while 

1  Chang  an  was  something  like  modern  polo.    In  the  early  middle 
«ages  it  was  a  favourite  game  in  Persia  and  India. 

*  Iltutmish  was  purchased  by  a  certain    merchant  Jaraal-ud-din 
^who  brought  him  to  Ghazni.    From  there  he  was  taken  to  Delhi  and 

sold  to  Qutb-ud-din  along  with  another  slave  named  Bak. 

To  face  page  76 

Qutbi  Mosque,  Delhi 


some  of  the  Muizzi  and  Qutbi  amirs  watched  with  sullen 
resentment  the  usurpation  by  a  slave  of  the  throne  which 
lawfully  belonged  to  the  line  of  Aibek.  Besides,  there  were 
numerous  Hindu  princes  and  chieftains  whose  recognition 
of  the  sovereignty  of  the  Muhammadans  was  only  nominal. 
But  lltutmish  was  not  the  man  to  fail  or  falter  in  the  face  of 
difficulties,  and  in  grim  earnestness  he  set  himself  to  the 
task  of  dealing  with  the  situation  in  a  bold  and  decisive 
manner  ju^nvJLi. 

Having  overpowered  all  thejgfcactfliy  amirs,  he  brought 
the  whole  of  the  principality  of  Delhi  under  his  control.  But 
his  safety  depended  upon  the  suppression  of 
11     MS  rivals,  and  he  at  once  turned  his  attention 
towards  them. 

Eldoz  who  had  been  purchased  by  Sultan  Muhammad^ 
when  he  was  young  in  years,  won  the  confidence  of  the 
Sultan  by  his  ability  and  courage,  and  after  the  death 
of  his  master,  became  ruler  of  Ghazni.  But  he  was  expelled 
by  Qutb-ud-din  who  made  himself  master  of  the  country. 
The  people  of  Ghazni,  however,  soon  got  disgusted  with  the 
drunken  orgies  of  Qutb-ud-din,  and  invited  Eldoz  to  assume 
charge  of  the  kingdom.  Eldoz  was  a  spirited  soldier  ;  he 
ultimately  defeated  Qubaicha,  governor  of  Sindh,  and  estab- 
lished himself  in  the  Punjab.  lltutmish,  who  could  not 
afford  to  see  a  formidable  rival  established  so  near  the 
northern  frontier,  marched  against  him,  and  inflicted  a 
crushing  defeat  upon  him  in  1215  A.D.  in  the  vicinity  of 
Tarain.  Eldoz  was  taken  prisoner  andj^juiin  rtiulj^  The 
defeat  of  Eldoz  was  followed  by  an 
who,  after  an  unsuccessful  engag^ 
mission  in  1217  A.D.  But  it 
he  was  finally  subdued. 


This  danger  was  nothing  in  comparison  with  the  storm 
which  burst  upon  India  in  1221  A.D.    The  Mongols'  under 

The  invasion  ^ingjz  J^an  came  down  fr°m  their  moun- 
oi  0  h  i  n  g  i  z  tain  steppes  in  Central  Asia  and  ravaged  the 
Khan'  countries  that  came  in  their  way.  The  Mon- 

gol was  a  ferocious  and  blood-thirsty  savage,  and  in  fact  the 
word  Mongol  itself  is  derived  from  the  word  Mone,  mean- 
ing brave,  daring,  told.l£L*>*^^^i^A«*/^ 

Chingiz,  who  was  a  typical  Mongol  warrior,  was  born 
in  1155  A.D.  at  Dilum  Boldak  near  the  river  Oman.  His 
original  name  was  Temujin.  His  father  died  when  he  was 
only  13  years  of  age.  As  a  result  of  this  calamity,  the  young 
lad  had  to  struggle  for  years  against  adversity,  and  it  was 
only  in  1203  A.D.  that  he  was  proclaimed  Khan.  With  light- 
ning speed  he  overran  China,  plundered  and  devastated  the 
Muhammadan  countries  of  Western  Asia.  Balkh,  Bokhara, 
Samarqand,  and  many  other  famous,  and  beautiful  cities 
were  ruined  by  his  predatory  raids.  When  Chingiz  attacked 
Jalal-ud-din,  the  last  Shah  of  Khwarizm,  he  fled  towards 
Hindustan,  whither  he  was  pursued  by  the  invaders.  He 
-encamped  on  the  Indus  and  prepared  to  give  battle  to  the 
Mongols.  He  sent  an  envoy  to  Iltutmish  requesting  him 
to  grant  a  place  for  residence  in  Delhi  for  some  time,  but 
the  latter  excused  himself  on  the  ground  that  the  climate 
of  Delhi  would  not  suit  him,  and  had  the  envoy  murdered. 
Jalal-ud-din  was  eventually  defeated  by  the  Mongols,  and  he 
had  to  escape  with  only  a  handful  of  followers.  Having 
allied  himself  with  the  Khokhars,  he  fell  upon  Nasir-ud-din 

1  The  forms   Moghul  and   Mongol  are   used   for  one  and  the  same 
When  the  Mongols  separated  themselves   from  their  ancestral 
'dns  and  came  to  close  quarters  with  the  Musalman  Inhabitants  of 
weafeecn 'states    of  Central  Asia,  their    neighbours    mispronounced 
$ame  qf  their  .original  nation  and  called  them  Moghul* 


<iubaicha,  whom  he  drove  into  the  fortress  of  Multaru 
After  a  short  time,  however,  he  went  to  Persia,  where  he 
learnt  that  the  army  in  Iraq  was  ready  to  help  him,  but 
he  was  murdered  by  a  fanatic  whose  brother  he  had  pre- 
viously slain.  The  Mongols  found  the  heat  of  India  intoler- 
able and  went  back  to  the  lands  to  the  west  of  the  Indus, 
which  had  a  great  attraction  for  them.  Thus  was  India 
saved  from  a  great  calamity,  and  Iltutmish  now  felt  himseU 
strong  enough  to  crush  his  native  enemies,  f: 

The  Khilji  Maliks  had  withdrawn  their  allegiance  after 

the  death  of  Qutb-ud-din.    Some  of  them,  like  Ali  Mardan 

n          4  and  Ghiyas-ud-din    Khilji,   had  also   struck 

Conquests.  ...  J          .  j  j    ^    • 

their  own  coins  and  caused  their  names  tc 
be  read  in  the  khutba  as  independent  rulers.  In  1225  A.D, 
Iltutmish  sent  an  army  against  Ghiyas  who  concluded 
a  treaty  and  paid  a  large  tribute.  The  khutba  was  read, 
and  coins  were  struck  in  his  name.  When  the  Sultan's 
forces  withdrew,  Ghiyas  expelled  the  governor  of  Bihai 
and  seized  the  province.  Nasir-ud-din  Mahmud  Shah  wh< 
had  the  fief  of  Oudh  marched  against  him.  Ghiyas  was 
•defeated  and  slain,  and  the  Khilji  amirs  were  made  captives 
The  whole  of  Lakhnauti  passed  into  the  hands  of  th< 
prince.  Ranthambhor  fell  in  1226  A..D.  ;  and  Mandore  in 
the  Sewalik  hills  followed  suit  a  year  later. 

Qubaicha,  another  slave  of  Sultan  Muiz-ud-din,  was  a  man 
of  intellect  and  sound  judgment,  and,  through  his  master's 

favour,  had  acquired  considerable  influence. 
<iubaicha.  °  He  was  appointed  governor  of  Uccha,  where  he 

managed  the  affairs  so  well  that  in  a  short 
time  he  made  himself  master  of  the  whole  country  of  Sindh 
which  now  extended  as  farasSarhind,  Kuhram,  and  Sirsuti. 
His  successes  aroused  the  jealousy  of  his  rival  chief  fit 


Ghazni,  and  Lahore  soon  became  a  bone  of  contention  be- 
tween him  and  Eldoz.  When  the  Khalj  and  Khwarizam 
forces  were  defeated  by  Qubaicha,  they  found  protection  with 
Iltutmish  who  espoused  their  cause.  He  started  from  Delhi 
by  way  of  Sarhind  towards  Uccha  at  the  head  of  a  large 
army.  Hearing  of  the  approach  of  the  Sultan,  Qubaicha 
entrenched  himself  in  the  fortress  of  Bhakkar.  The  royal 
army  invested  the  fortress  of  Uccha  and  captured  it  after  a 
protracted  siege  of  two  months  and  twenty-seven  days  in 
1227  A.D.  The  capitulation  of  Uccha  so  disheartened  Qubai- 
cha that  he  embarked  in  a  boat  in  order  to  save  his  life,  but 
he  was  drowned  in  the  Indus. 

In  1228  A.D.  Iltutmish  received  a  patent  of  investiture 

from  the  Khalifa  of  Baghdad,  the  highest  pontiff  of  Islam,  a 

recognition  which  enormously  increased  the 

b  the^haHfa     Pres*J£€  °^  the  Indo-Muhammadan  power  in 

India.    It  legitimised  the  Sultan's  authority 

and   silenced   those   who   challenged    his   claim   to    the 

throne  on  the  score  of  his  birth,  and  gave  to  his  authority 

the  sanction  of  a  name,  honoured  and  cherished  by  the  entire 

J^lim_world._   The  name  of  the  Khalifa  was  inscribed  on 

*   the  coins  issued  from  the  royal  mints,  and  the  Sultan  was 

described  as  "  Aid  of  the  Commander  of  the  Faithful  Nasir 

Amir-ul-Mumnin. "    The    currency   was  remodelled,   and 

Iltutmish   was  the   first   to   introduce  a   purely   Arabic 

coinage  ;  and  the  silver  tanka  weighing  175  grains  became 

the  standard  coin. 

When  Nasir-ud-din  Mahmud  Shah  died  in  Bengal,  the 

Khilji  Maliks  at  Lakhnauti  broke  out  into  rebellion.    The 

The  Conquest    Sultan  marched  against  the  rebels  at  the  head 

of  Bengal  and    of  a  large  army  and  defeated  them.    The 

Gwahor.  government  of  Lakhnauti  was  conferred  upon 


Malik  Alauddin  Jani,  and  order  was  restored  in  the  province. 
In  1231  A.D.  the  Sultan  undertook  an  expedition  to  Gwalior 
which  had  thrown  off  the  yoke  of  Delhi  during  the  brief 
reign  of  Aram  Shah.  Mangala  Deva,  the  ruler  of  the  place, 
offered  a  desperate  resistance,  and  it  was  after  a  prolonged 
fight,  jpfrich  continued  off  and  on  for  eleven  months,  that 
the  fortress  was  captured  in  1232  A.D.  Mangala  Deva 
effected  his  escape  but  a  large  number  of  his  followers 
were  captured  and  slain. 

13  JfA  year  later,  the  Sultan  marched  against  Malwa  and 

captured  the  fort  of  Bhilsa,  from  which  place  he  proceeded 

rn.     .        .      to  Ujjain  which  easily  fell  into  his  hands. 

The  close  of 

a  successful  ,  The  temple  of  Mahakali,  one  of  the  most 
career.  venerated  shrines  in  that  city,  wasdemol^^ 

and  the  idols  were^rneToirtoTJelhi.  The  Sultan  had  to 
abandon  the  projected  expedition  against  Banian  on  account 
of  his  ill-health,  which  ultimately  grew  worse,  and  he 
expired  in  his  palace  in  1235  A.D. 

lltutmish  is  undoubtedly  the  real  founder  of  the  Slave 
dynasty.    It  was  he  who  consolidated  the  conquests  that 

had  been  made  by  his  master  Qutb-ud-duu 
°f      He  brou£ht  under  his  sway  the  whole  of 

Hindustan  except  a  few  outlying  provinces 
and  displayed  extraordinary  vigour  and  intrepidity  in  deal- 
ing with  his  foes.  Though  he  was  always  busy  in  military 
campaigns,  he  extended  his  patronage  to  the  pious  and  the 
learned.  He  was  deeply  religious,  and  his  observance  of  the 
faith  led  the  Mulahidas  to  form  a  conspiracy  to  take  his  life, 
but  luckily  it  proved  abortive.  The  3ultan  was  a  great 
builder,  and  the  Qutb  Minar,  whose  massive  grandeur  and 
beauty  of  design  are  unrivalled,  still  stands  as  a  worthy 
memorial  of  his  greatness.  As  long  as  he  lived,  he 
p.  6 


behaved  like  a  great  monarch,  and  the  contemporary  chro- 
nicler Minhaj-us-Siraj  extols  his  virtues  in  these  words  : 
'"never  was  a  sovereign  of  such  exemplary  faith,  of  such 
kindness  and  reverence  towards  recluses,  devotees,  divines 
and  doctors  of  religion  and  law,  from  the  mother  of  creation 
ever  enwrapped  in  swaddling  bands  of  dominio*" 

Iltutmish,  who  was  well  aware  of  the  incapacity  of  his 
sons,  had  nominated  his  daughter  Reziya  as  his  heir.    But 
the  nobles,  who  had  a  prejudice  against  the 
successors  of      succession  of  a  female,  placed  upon  the  throne 
Iitutmish.  prince  Rukn-ud-din,  a  son    of   Iltutmish,  a 

notorious  debauchee,  addicted  to  the  most  degrading  sensual 
enjoyments.    While  the  young  prince    was  immersed    in 
pleasures,    the    affairs    of   state    were    managed    by    his 
mother  Shah  Turkan,  an    ambitious    lady,  who    had    an 
inordinate  love  of  power.      But    when    mother   and   son 
Brought  about  the  cruel  murder  of  Qutb-ud-din,   another 
ttince  of  the  blood  royal,  the  maliks  and  amirs  assumed 
an  attitude  of  hostility  towards  them.    The  governors  of 
Oudh,  BadSon,  Hansi,  Multan,  and  Lahore  became  openly 
hostile,  while  the  crisis  was  precipitated  by  an  attempt 
of  the  Queen-mother  to  take  the  life  of  Sultan  Reziya,  the 
eldest  daughter  and  heiress-designate  of  Iltutmish.    The  con- 
spiracy was  nipped  in  the  bud,  and  Shah  Turkan  was  taken 
prisoner  by  the  infuriated  mob.  Rukn-ud-din  was  also  seized, 
and  thrown  into  prison  where  he  died  in  1236  A.D.  The  nobles 
now  rallied  round  Reziya  and  saluted  her  as  their  sovereign. 
When  Reziya  was  formally  nominated  as  heir-apparent 
by  her  father,  the  ministers  of  the  Sultan  felt  scandalised 
Sultan  Rezi-      at  the  elevation  of  a  woman  to  royal  dignity, 
ya's  accession      an(j  urged  upon   him    the   imprudence  of 

tp  the  throne.       ^  ^  ^^^    ^   he  replMf  •«  My  SOM 


engrossed  in  the  pleasures  of  youth,  and  none  of  them 
possesses  the  capacity  to  manage  the  affairs  of  the  country. 
After  my  death  it  will  be  seen  that  not  one  of  them  will 
be  found  to  be  more  worthy  of  the  heir-apparentship  than 
my  daughter."  The  advocates  of  male  succession  were 
thus^lenced,  and  Reziya  was  acknowledged  heir  to  the 
throne.  * 

Muhammad  Junaidi,  Wazir  of  the  kingdom,  did  not 
acknowledge  her  right  to  the  throne,  and  the  provincial 
governors  too  offered  opposition.  It  was  a 
critical  situation  for  Reziya,  but  Nasrat-ud-din 
Tayarsi,  the  feudatory  of  Oudh,  who  owed  his 
position  to  her,  came  to  her  rescue.  By  her  courage  and 
diplomacy,  the  queen  soon  put  down  the  rebellious  maliks, 
and  restored  order  throughout  the  kingdom.  In  the  words 
of  the  chronicler,  "  from  Lakhnauti  to  Debal  and  Damrilah 
all  the  maliks  and  amirs  tendered  obedience  and  submission." - 

Reziya  was  a   talented  woman.      The   contempora 
chronicler  describes  her  as  a  "  great  sovereign  and  sagacic 
just,   beneficent,   the  patron  of  the  learnc 

Htr      policy  1-1 

causes  d  i  s-  a  disposer  of  justice,  the  chensher  of 
content.  j^  subjects,  and  of  warlike  talent,  and  was 

endowed  with  all  the  admirable  attributes  and  qualifications 
necessary  for  a  king  ;  but,  as  she  did  not  attain  the  destiny 
in  her  creation,  of  being  computed  among  men,  of  what 
advantage  were  all  these  excellent  qualifications  to  her." 
She  tried  her  best  to  play  the  King.  She  cast  off  female 
garments,  abandoned  the  seclusion  of  the  zenana,  donned 
the  head-dress  of  a  man,  and  transacted  business  in  open 
darbar.  She  took  an  active  part  in  campaigns  against  the 
Hindus  and  the  rebellious  Muslim  chiefs,  and  herself  led 
-an  expedition  against  the  governor  of  Lahore,  who  was 


compelled  to  acknowledge  her  authority.  But  her  sex: 
proved  her  worst  disqualification.  As  Elphinstone  remarks, 
her  talents  and  virtues  were  insufficient  to  protect  her 
from  a  single  weakness.  It  was  shown  in  extraordinary 
marks  of  favour  to  her  master  of  the  horse,  who,  to* 
make  her  partiality  more  degrading,  was  an  Abyisinian 
slave,  Jamal-ud-din  YaqQt.  The  freeborn  Khans,  whom 
the  corps  of  the  Turkish  mamluks  known  as  "the 
forty''  had  superseded  in  power,  resented  the  preference- 
which  the  queen  showed  to  the  Abyssinian.  The  feeling 
against  the  queen  was  further  accentuated  by  her  public 
appearance  which  shocked  the  orthodox  Muslims. 

The  first  to  raise  the  standard  of  revolt  was  Altunia, 
the  rebel  governor  of  Sarhind.  Reziya  forthwith  started 
from  the  capital  to  put  down  the  revolt. 
n  '  a  8  When  she  reached  Tabarhindah,  the  Turkish 
amirs  slew  her  favourite  Yaqut  and  imprison- 
ed her  in  the  fort.  But  the  artful  queen  proved  too  clever 
for  her  captors.  She  cast  her  spell  on  Altunia  who  con- 
tracted a  marriage  with  her,  and  marched  towards  Delhi  to 
recover  the  kingdom.  Muiz-ud-din  Bahram  Shah,  brother 
of  Reziya,  who  had  been  proclaimed  king  by  the  amirs, 
led  an  army  against  the  queen  and  her  consort,  and  defeat- 
ed them.  The  partisans  of  Altunia  deserted  him,  and 
together  with  his  spouse  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Hindus  who  put  them  to  death  in  1240  A.D.  Reziya's 
reign  lasted  for  three  and  a  half  years. 

Bahram  Shah,  brother  of  Reziya,  who  succeeded  her, 

was  a  prince  "fearless,  full  of  courage  and  sanguinary." 

The  confusion    His  reign  was  full  of  murder,  treachery,  and 

after  Reriya's    intrigue ;  and  disaffection  became  widespread 

^  when  he  adopted   drastic  measures  to  put 


down  conspiracies.  The  Mongols  made  their  appearance  In 
Hindustan  in  1241  A.D.  and  captured  Lahore,  Shortly 
afterwards  the  Sultan  was  assassinated,  and  waft 
succeeded  by  Alauddin  Masud  Shah,  a  grandson  of 
Iltutmish.  In  1245  A.  D.,  the  Mongols  appeared  again  in 
Indik,  but  they  were  repelled  with  heavy  losses.  During 
the  latter  part  of  his  reign,  the  Sultan  began  to  behave 
like  a  tyrant  and  became  inordinately  fond  of  pleasure. 
Disaffection  grew  apace;  and  the  amirs  and  maliks  invited 
Nasir-ud-din,  another  son  of  Iltutmish,  to  take  charge  of  the 
kingdom.  Masud  was  thrown  into  prison  in  May  1246  A.D., 
where  he  died  shortly  afterwards. 

The  throne  of  Delhi  now  fell  to  the  lot  of  Nasir-ud-din 
Mahmud  Shah,  a  younger  son  of  Iltutmish,  in  1246  A.D. 
He  was  a  pious,  God-fearing  and  kind-hearted 
Mahmudddin  ruler who  patronised  the  learned  and  sym- 
pathised  with  the  poor  and  the  distressed. 
He  led  the  retired  and  obscure  life  of  a  darvesh,  denied  to 
himself  the  pleasures  of  royalty,  and  earned  his  living  by 
copying  verses  from  the  Quran.  By  character  and  tempera- 
ment he  was  unfitted  to  rule  the  kingdom  of  Delhi  at  a 
time,  when  internal  factions  and  Hindu  revolts  conspired 
to  weaken  the  monarchy,  and  the  Mongols  hammered  upon 
the  gates  of  India.  But  fortunately  the  Sultan  had  an 
able  minister  ifl  ( BalbaiL- who  guided  the  domestic  as  well 
as  the  foreign  policy  of  the  state  throughout  his  master's 

Balban  was  a  Turk  of  the  tribe  of  Ilbari,  and  his  father 
was  a  Khan  of  10,000  families.    He  was,  in  his  youth, 
captured  by  the  Mongols,  who  conveyed  him 
to  Baghdad,  where  he    was  purchased  by 
Khwaja  Jamal-ud-din  of  Basra*    The  latter 


took  him  to  Delhi  where  he  was  purchased  by  lltutmish. 
Balban  was  appointed  Khasah-bardar  (personal  attendant) 
to  the  Sultan,  and  was  enrolled  in  the  famous  corps  of 
forty  slaves.  Under  Reziya  he  was  Dromoted  to  the  rank  of 
Amir-i-Shikar  (Lord  of  the  Hunt).  QBahram  entrusted  to 
him  the  fief  of  Rewari,  to  which  was  afterwards  added 
the  district  of  HanSK 

When  the  Mongols  under  their  leader  Mangu,  invaded 
Sindh  and  laid  siege  to  the  fortress  of  Uccha  in  1245  A.D., 
Balban  organised  a  large  army  to  repel  their  attack.  It  was 
his  military  vigour  and  intrepidity  which  inflicted  a  crushing 
defeat  on  the  Mongols,  and  won  such  brilliant  success  for  the 
arms  of  Islam.  When  Nasir-ud-din  ascended  the  throne  in 
1246  A.D.,  he  was  appointed  principal  minister  of  the  state. 
r Balban  crossed  the  Ravi  in  1246  A.D.,  ravaged  the  Jud 
anckJilam  hills,  and  suppressed  the  Khokhars  and  other  con- 
tumacious tribes.  He  undertook  several  expeditions  to  the 
Doab  to  chastise  the  refractory  Hindu  Rajas.  The  Rana  of 
Malaki,  the  country  between  Kalanjar  and  Kara,  was 
subdued,  and  Mewat  and  Ranthambhar  were  ravaged.  The 
rebellious  Muslim  governors  were  suppressed,  and  Gwalior, 
Chanderi,  Malwa,  and  Narwar  were  subduedA 

Six  months  later,  when  the  Sultan  marched  towards 
Uccha  and  Multan,  Imad-ud-din  Rihan,  who  was  jealous  of 
Balban's  influence,  excited  the  maliks  and  poisoned  the  ears 
of  the  Sultan  against  him.  The  great  minister  was  con- 
sequently banished  from  the  court  in  1253  A.D.,  and 
Imad-ud-din  was  installed  as  Vakil-i-dar l  at  the  capital. 

Imad-ud-din  was  a  renegade  Hindu,  and  his  tutelage 
now  galled,  the  pride  of  the  maliks  and  nobles  of  the  court, 

1  The  principal  duty  of  the  Vakil-i-dar  was  to  hold  the  keys  of  the 
gate  of  the  king's  palace.  The  office  existed  among  the  Mughals  also 
abd  was  no  doubt  considered  important  by  them. 


who  were  all  "  Turks  of  pure  lineage  and  Tajziks  of 
noble  birth,"  and  looked  upon  it  as  a  disgrace  to  serve 
under  him.  The  administration  grew  lax,  and  from  all 
sides  requests  poured  in  upon  the  Sultan  to  dismiss  the 
vile  upstart.  The  powerful  maliks  eventually  persuaded 
the  Sultan  to  order  the  dismissal  of  Rihan.  He  was  ordered 
to  the  fief  of  Badaon,  and  Balban  returned  to  the  capital 
in  triumph  in  February  1254  A.D. 

When  Qutlugh  Khan,  governor  of  Oudh,  revolted  in 
1255  A.D.,  Balban  marched  against  him  and  obliged  him 
to  withdraw.  The  former  was  assisted  by 
of  RebenS  a11  the  disaffected  maliks  and  Hindus,  and 
was  joined  by  Iz-ud-din  Balban  Kashlu  Khan, 
governor  of  Sindh,  who,  also,  following  the  evil  example 
of  Qutlugh  Khan,  revolted.  The  two  maliks  effected  a 
junction  of  their  armies  near  Saman#  and  marched  towards 
the  capital,  but  were  unable  to  put  into  execution  their 
ppfariong  project.  Towards  the  close  of  the  year  1257  A.D. 
the  Mongols  again  invaded  Sindh,  but  when  the  royal 
forces  marched  against  them,  they  retreated. 

The  last  expedition  was  against  the  hilly  country  of 

Mewat  in  the  year  1259  A.D.,  where  the  rebels  under  their 

leader  Malka,  a  Hindu,  plundered  and  de- 

pedition 8t  ex~     stroyed  villages,  and  harassed  the  peasantry 

in  the  districts    of  Hariana,    Sewalik  and 

Biyana.  Ulugh  Khan  crushed  the  rebels  and  cleared  the 

whole  country  of  these  pests. 

For  full  two  decades  Balban  preserved  the  state  from 
many  a  danger,  and  put  down  with  an  iron  hand  the  ele- 
ments of  disorder  and-  strife.    The  frontier 
posts  were  strongly  garrisoned  ;  a  large  and 
efficient  army    was    constructed,    and  the 


Mongols  were  successfully  repelled.  The  rebellions  of  the 
refractory  Hindus  were  effectively  suppressed,  and  the 
disaffected  amirs  and  maliks  too  were  curbed.  But  for 
Balban's  vigour  and  energy,  the  kingdom  of  Delhi  would 
have  hardly  survived  the  shocks  of  internal  revolts  and 
external  invasions. 

After  Nasir-ud-din's  death  in  1266  A.D.,  the  mantle  of 
sovereignty  devolved  upon  Balban.  His  first  task  was  to 
reorganise  the  administration,  and  to  take 
effective  steps  to  prevent  the  recurring  Mon- 
gol raids.  Barani  writes :  "Fear  of  the 
governing  power,  which  is  the  basis  of  all  good  government, 
and  the  source  of  the  glory  and  splendour  of  states,  had 
departed  from  the  hearts  of  all  men,  and  the  country  had 
fallen  into  a  wretched  condition. "  By  means  of  drastic- 
punishments  and  relentless  measures  the  new  Sultan,  who 
was  an  adept  in  the  art  of  government,  suppressed  the 
elements  of  disorder  anjL  taught  people  obedience  and 

The  first  need  of  Balban  was  a  large  and  efficient  army. 
The  cavalry  and  infantry,  both  old  and  new,  were  placed 
under  maliks  of  experience,  who  had  given 

proof  of  their  coura^e  and  loyalty  in  many 

battles.  With  the  help  of  this  army,  he  es- 
tablished order  in  the  lands  of  the  Doab  and  the  environs 
of  Delhi.  The  turbulence  of  the  Mewatis  had  become  a 
serious  menace  to  the  throne  of  Delhi.  They  carried  their 
predatory  raids  in  the  vicinity  of  the  capital,  and  at  night 
"  they  used  to  come  prowling  into  the  city,  giving  all  kinds 
of  trouble,  depriving  the  people  of  their  rest/'  So  great  was 
their  audacity  that  the  western  gate  of  the  capital  had  to 
be  closed  at  the  time  of  afternoon  prayer,  and  even  the 


rgarb  of  a  mendicant  was  no  protection  against  their  high- 
handedness. The  Sultan  cleared  the  jungles  and  inflicted 
a  crushing  defeat  upon  them.  rTo  provide  for  the  security 
-of  the  capital,  he  built  outposts  which  were  strongly 
garrisoned  by  Afghans,  to  whom  grants  of  land  were  made 
for  maintenance.  The  noblemen  and  officers,  who  were 
left  in  charge  of  the  country,  thoroughly  subjugated  it,  and 
put  to  the  sword  thousands  of  these  miscreants.  In  the 
heart  of  the  Doab  the  greatest  insecurity  prevailed  ;  and 
Kampil,  Patiali,  and  Bhojpur  were  the  strongholds  of 
robbers,  who  infested  the  roads  and  rendered  impossible 
the  transport  of  merchandise  from  one  place  to  another. 
The  Sultan^ proceeded  in  person  to  quell  these  disorders, 
anft  posted  strong  Afghan  garrisons  to  put  down  brigand- 
age) and  lawlessness.  "  The  den  of  the  robbers  was 
thus  converted  into  a  guard-house,  and  Musalmans  and 
guardians  of  the  way  took  the  place  of  highway  robbers/' 
so  that  sixty  years  afterwards  Barani  was  able  to  record 
with  satisfaction  that  the  roads  had  been  freed  from  robbers 
and  the  lives  of  the  wayfarers  rendered  secure. 

y  Having  suppressed  the  outlaws,  the  Sultan  led  an 
expedition  into  the  mountains  of  Jud  and  chastised  the 
hill  tribes.  Two  years  later  he  proceeded  against  the  fort 
which  had  been  destroyed  by  the  Mongols.  The  whole 
country  was  laid  waste,  and  order  was  restored.  This 
brief  campaign  once  again  revealed  to  the  Sultan  the 
unfitness  of  the  old  Shams!  veterans,  who  had  enjoyed 
liberal  grants  of  land  for  the  last  thirty  or  forty  years. 
It  appeared  that  about  2,000  horsemen  of  the  army  of 
-Shams-ud-din  held  villages  in  the  Doab  in  lieu  of  salary. 
Many  of  the  grantees  were  old  and  infirm,  and  many  had 
<died,  and  their  sons  had  taken  possession  of  their  lands 


and  caused  their  names  to  be  entered  in  the  records  of 
the  Ariz  (muster-master).  These  holders  of  service  lands 
called  themselves  proprietors  and  professed  to  have  received 
the  lands  in  free  gift  from  Sultan  Shams-ud-din.  Some 
of  them  performed  their  military  duties  in  a  leisurely 
manner,  others  stayed  at  home  making  excuses,  and  bribed 
the  Deputy  Muster-master  and  his  officials  to  condone 
their  neglect  of  duty.  The  Sultan  at  once  issued  an  order 
for  holding  an  enquiry  into  the  condition  of  these  service 
tenures,  and  a  list  of  all  grantees  was  prepared.  This 
order  caused  a  feeling  of  dismay  among  the  members  of 
the  military  oligarchy,  which  had  held  so  far  a  monopoly 
of  all  favour  and  privilege  in  the  state.  Some  of  these 
old  Khans  approached  Fakhr-ud-din,  the  Kotwal  of  Delhi, 
who  was  supposed  to  have  influence  with  the  Sultan,  and 
requested  him  to  intercede  in  their  behalf.  The  Kotwal 
eloquently  pleaded  the  cause  of  these  aged  veterans,  and 
the  Sultan  was  moved  with  compassion  to  cancel  the 
resumption  of  their  estates.  Though  the  original  order 
was  revoked,  the  Khans  lost  much  of  their  former  influence 
and  tamely  submitted  to  Balban's  dictation. 

(    Balban  organised  the  internal  administration  on  a  most 
efficient  basis.    It  wasjfralf  civil,  half  military.    He  was 

himself  the  fountain  of  all  authority,  and 
government!1  enforced  his  commands  with  the  greatest 

rigour.  Even  his  own  sons  who  held  import- 
ant provinces  were  not  allowed  much  initiative,  and  had  to 
refer  to  the  Sultan  all  complicated  matters  on  which  he 
passed  final  orders,  which  were  to  be  strictly  enforced.  In 
administering  justice  he  never  showed  partiality  even 
towards  his  own  kith  and  kin,  and  when  any  of  his  relations 
or  associates  committed  an  act  of  injustice,  he  never  failed 


to  grant  redress  to  the  aggrieved  party.  So  great  was  the- 
dread  of  the  Sultan's  inexorable  justice  that  no  one  dared 
to  ill-treat  his  servants  and  slaves.  When  Malik  Barbak, 
one  of  the  courtiers,  who  held  a  jSglr  of  4,000  horse  and 
the  fief  of  Badaon,  caused  one  of  his  servants  to  be  scourged 
to  death,  his  widow  complained  to  the  Sultan.  He  ordered 
the  Malik  to  be  flogged  similarly  in  the  presence  of  the 
complainant,  and  publicly  executed  the  spies  who  had 
failed  to  report  his  misconduct.  A  well;_est^ 
tern „  of  espionage  iaJnseparable  from  despotism,  and  Bal- 
ban  with  a  view  to  make  the  administration  of  justice 
more  efficient  appointed  spies  in  his  fiefs,  who  reported 
to  him  all  acts  of  injustice.  To  make  these  reports 
accurate  and  honest,  he  greatly  restricted  the  field  of 
individual  observation,  and  when  the  report  was  made,  he 
showed  no  indulgence  on  the  score  of  rank  or  birth.  Even 
Bughra  Khan's  movements  were  watched  by  the  spies, 
and  it  is  said  that  the  Sultan  took  great  pains  to  keep  himself 
informed  of  his  activities.  These  spies  no  doubt  checked 
crime  and  protected  innocent  persons  against  the  high- 
handedness of  those  in  power,  but  their  presence  must  have 
demoralised  the  community  and  led  to  the  suppression  of  even 
the  most  legitimate  and  harmless  amenities  of  social  lif&j). 
But  the  one  all-absorbing  pre-occupation  of  the  Sultan 
was  the  fear  of  the  recurring  Mongol  invasions.  Although 

he  possessed  a  large  and  disciplined  army,  he 
goiT  M  °  " "  never  left  Delhi,  and  devised  measures  to 

safeguard  his  dominions  against  the  raids  of 
these  nomad  hordes.  The  Mongols  had  seized  Lahore  and 
every  year  harried  the  lands  of  Sindh  and  the  Punjab.  The 
Sultan  never  moved  from  the  capital,  and  kept  a  vigilant 
watch  upon  the  vulnerable  parts  of  the  empire.  The 


provinces  of  Multan  and  Samana,  which  were  most  exposed 
to  attack,  being  near  to  the  northern  frontier,  were 
-entrusted  to  his  own  sons,  Muhammad  and  Bugrhra  Khan, 
who  maintained  large  and  well-trained  armies  to  fight  against 
the  Mongols.  But  this  constant  fear  greatly  influenced  the 
foreign  policy  of  Balban.  He  never  attempted  the  conquest 
of  any  distant  country  ;  his  whole  attention  was  concen- 
trated upon  measures  to  guard  himself  and  his  kingdom 
-against  the  Mongols.  Even  the  administrative  organisation 
was  carried  out  with  a  view  to  strengthen  the  government 
to  cope  with  these  calamitous  raids.  IFrom  Amir  KhusrauV 
description  of  these  nomad  savaglj,  which  is  somewhat 
tinged  by  the  poet's  own  feelings,  for  he  had  on  one  occasion 
fallen  into  their  hands,  we  can  form  some  idea  of  the  horrors 
which  their  recurring  raids  implied.  He  writes:  "There" 
were  more  than  a  thousand  Tartar  infidels  and  warriors  of 
other  tribes,  riding  on  camels,  great  commanders  in  battle, , 
^11  with  steel-like  bodies  clothed  in  cotton  ;  with  faces  like 
fire,  with  caps  of  sheepskin,  with  heads  shorn.  Their  eyes' 
were  so  narrow  and  piercing  that  they  might  have  bored 
4  hole  in  a  brazen  vessel.  .  .  Their  faces  were  set  on 
their  bodies  as  if  they  had  no  neck.  Their  cheeks  resembled 
soft  leathern  bottles,  full  of  wrinkles  and  knots.  Their  noses 
extended  from  cheek  to  cheek,  and  their  mouths  from 
cheek-bone  to  cheek-bone.  .  .  Their  moustaches  were  of 

1  Abul  Hasan,  better  known  by  his  now  de  plume  of  Amir  Kbusrau 
by  far  the  greatest  Muslim  poet  of  India,  was  born  at  Patiali  in  651  A.H. 
•(1263  A.D.),  and  died  at  Delhi  in  726  A.H.  (1324-26  A.D.)  While  yet  a 
boy,  he  became  a  disciple  of  Shaikh  Nizam-ud-din  Aulia.  He  entered  the 
service  of  Balban  as  an  attendant  on  his  son  Prinoe  Muhammad,  who 
was  fond  of  the  society  of  the  learned.  Gradually  he  rose  into  promi- 
nence and  was  elevated  to  the  Fflflifr'™  "f  fl*\ft  nnnfi  fa"™"!^  He  died  of 
flffcf  at  th«  d^h  of  hifl  ffl-vmirite  saint  Nizam-ud-dinAulia.  He  Has 
Written  numerous  works'  brie!  notices  of  which  are  fWen  Iff  Elliot,  III, 
pp.  67— 92,  623—67. 


extravagant  length.  They  had  but  scanty  beards  about  their 
chins  .  .  .  They  looked  like  so  many  white  demons,  and  the 
people  fled  from  them  everywhere  in  affright/1 1  Hardy  and 
heartless  invaders  such  as  these,  coming  from  the  cooler 
regions  beyond  the  Hindukush,  could  not  be  trifled  with, 
and  Balban  was  led  by  the  instinct  of  sheer  self-preserva- 
tion to  ignore  all  other  things  and  keep  his  army  ever  on, 
the  war-path  to  repel  their  oft-repeated  incursions. 

Tughril  Khan,  the  governor  of  Bengal,2  who  had  beea 
appointed  by  Balban,  was  led  astray  by  his  evil  counsellors. 

Tughril's  Be-       They  tol(i  him  that  the  Sultan  was  old  and  hiS 

rbeiiioD,     1279     two  sons  were  occupied  in  dealing  with  the 
AlD-  Mongol  attacks,  and  the  leaderless  nobler 

possessed  neither  men  nor  munitions  to  march  to  Lakhnauti 
to  frustrate  his  attempt  at  independence.  Tughril  readily 
listened  to  this  false  and  mischievous  advice  ftnd  "  allowed 
the  egg  of  ambition  to  be  hatched  in  his  head. "  He  attacked 
Jajnagar,  carried  off  a  large  booty  consisting  of  valuable 
goods  and  elephants,  and  kept  it  all  for  himself.  This  act 
of  disloyalty  was  consummated  by  a  formal  declaration  of 
independence,  when  he  assumed  the  royal  title  of  Sultan 
Mughis-ud-din,  struck  coins,  and  caused  the  khutba  to  be 
read  in  his  own  name.  The  possession  of  vast  wealth  en- 
abled him  to  bestow  large  gifts  upon  his  associates.  As 
Barani  writes,  money  closed  the  eyes  of  the  clear-sighted, 
and  greed  of  gold  kept  the  more  politic  in  retirement. 
Sedition  became  so  rife  that  the  soldiers  as  well  as  the 

1  For  further  account  of  these  savages,  see  Elliot,  III,  Appendix, 
pp.  528-29. 

*  Tughril  was  originally  a  Turkish  slave  who  had  been  purchased 
,  by  Balban.  Being  a  brave  and  warlike  man,  he  subdued  the  Rajas  of 
;  the  neighbouring  countries  and  compelled  them  to  pay  tribute. 



citizens  ceased  to  fear  the  sovereign  power,  and  gave  their 
adhesion  to  the  rebellious  governor. 

The  Sultan  was  much  disturbed  by  the  news  of  this 
revolt.  A  royal  army  crossed  the  SarjQ  and  marched  to- 
wards Lakhnauti,  but  when  it  reached  Bengal,  it  Was  opposed 
and  defeated  by  Tughril,  who  had  drawn  to  his  banner  by 
means  of  his  liberality  numerous  adherents frpm  the  country 
districts.  The  troops  of  Delhi  fled,  and  many  of  them 
deserted  their  colours  and  went  over  to  the  enemy. 

Another  expedition  met  with  a  like  fate.  Emboldened  by 
his  success,  Tughril  marched  out  of  Lakhnauti,  fell  upon  the 
army  of  Delhi,  and  completely  defeated  it.  The  news  of  this 
defeat  overwhelmed  the  Sultan  with  shame  and  anger,  and 
he  swore  vengeance  upon  the  rebels.  Having  entrusted  the 
affairs  of  Delhi  to  Malik  Fakhr-ud-din,  he  proceeded  towards 
Samana  and  Sunnam,  and  asked  his  son  Bughra  Khan  to 
accompany  him  to  Bengal.  Prince  Muhammad  was  asked  to 
take  care  of  the  province  in  his  charge,  and  to  keep  a  vigilant 
eye  upon  the  Mongols.  At  the  head  of  a  large  army,  the 
Sultan  started  for  Lakhnauti  in  spite  of  the  rains.  He  order- 
ed a  general  levy  in  Oudh,  and  enrolled  about  two  lakhs  of 
men  in  his  army.  A  large  flotilla  of  boats  was  constructed, 
and  the  royal  troops  crossed  the  Sarju,  but  their  passage 
in  the  marshy  land  of  Bengal  was  delayed  by  the  rains. 
The  royal  army  wended  its  way  through  mud  and  water 
to  the  capital  of  Bengal  only  to  find  that  the  rebel,  deeming 
himself  unable  to  withstand  the  Sultan,  had  fled  towards 
the  wilds  of  Jajnagar,  taking  with  him  treasure,  elephants 
and  a  picked  body  of  fighting  men.  He  was  pursued  by 
the  royal  troops,  and  the  Sultan  publicly  declared  that  he 
would  never  abandon  the  pursuit,  cost  him  what  time  and 
•trouble  it  might.  He  gave  the  soldiers  some  idea  of  his 


mighty  resolve,  when  he  told  them  that  they  were  playing 
for  half  the  kingdom  of  Delhi,  and,  if  Tughril  took  to  the 
water,  he  would  pursue  him  and  would  never  return   to 
Delhi,  or  even  mention  it,  until  the  'blood  of  the  rebel  and 
his  followers  had  been  poured  out.   Many  of  them  despaired 
<>f  ever  returning  to  their  homes  and  made  their  wills.    A 
large  party  of  horsemen  was  sent  in  search  of  Tughril,  but 
no  trace  of  him  was  to  be  found.    After  a  diligent  search 
the  camp  of  Tughril  was  discovered,  and  the  royal  horsemen 
rudely  interrupted  the  joyous  life  led  by  him  and  his  men 
in  these  bucolic  surroundings.    His  army  fled  from  the  field 
panic-stricken,  and  he  himself,  mounted  asaddleless  horse 
^nd  tried  to  gallop  to  a  stream  which  ran  hard  by.    He  was 
pursued  by  the  royalists,  and  an  arrow  which  pierced    him 
on  the  side  at  once  brought  him  down.    His  head  was 
severed  from  the  body,   which  was  flung  into  the  river, 
and  his  women,  children,  and  dependents  were  all  captured 
by  the  victors.    The    Sultan  was  pleased  to   hear  of  the 
success  of  this  expedition,  and  suitably  rewarded  the  men 
who  had  risked  their  lives  in  his  service 

Balban  returned  to  Lakhnauti  where  gibbets  were  erected 
on  both  sides  in  the  bazar,  and  the  relations  and  accomplices 
of  Tughril  were  hanged  mercilessly.  These  terrible  punish- 
ments went  on  for  two  or  three  days,  and  it  is  said  that 
even  the  Qazis  and  Muftis  obtained  their  pardon  with  great 
difficulty.  When  the  work  of  slaughter  was  over,  Balban 
made  arrangements  for  the  restoration  of  order  in  the 
country.  He  entrusted  the  province  to  his  son  Bughra  Khan 
whom  he  asked  to  recove^and  hold  in  peace  the  rest  of 
Bengal  and  to  eschew  convivial  parties.  Then  he  asked 
the  Prince  with  a  stern  look:  MjD|dst  thpusee?"  The 
Prince  did  not  understand  what  his  father  meant  to  convey 


by  this  enigmatical  question.  The  Sultan  again  said,  "Didst: 
tfiou  see  ?  "  The  perplexed  Prince  returned  no  answer  and 
the  Sultan  repeated  the  question  for  the  third  time  and 
added,  ''You  saw  my  punishments  in  the  bazar."  The 
Prince  bent  down  his  head  in  profound  submission,  and 
the  pitiless  father  addressed  him  in  these  words  :  "If  ever- 
designing  and  evil-minded  persons  should  incite  you  to- 
waver  in  your  allegiance  to  Delhi  and  to  throw  off  its 
authority,  then  remember  the  vengeance  which  you  have 
seen  exacted  in  the  bazar.  Understand  me  and  forget 
not  that  if  the  governors  of  Hind  or  Sindh,  of  Malwa  or 
Gujarat,  of  Lakhnauti  or  Sonargaon,  shall  draw  the  sword 
and  become  rebels  to  the  throne  of  Delhi,  then  such  punish- 
ment as  has  fallen  upon  Tughril  and  his  dependents  will 
fall  upon  them,  their  wives,  their  children,  and  all  their 
adherents. "  He  called  Bughra  Khan  again  for  a  second 
interview  and  gave  him  valuable  advice  about  political 
affairs.  On  the  day  of  his  departure,  he  embraced  him 
affectionately  and  bade  him  farewell.  On  his  return  to 
Delhi  he  ordered  gibbets  to  be  erected  again  for  the 
execution  of  those  residents  of  Delhi  and  its  environs,  who 
had  assisted  in  the  late  rebellion.  It  was  with  great 
difficulty  that  the  Qazi  of  the  army  was  able  to  persuade 
the  Sultan  to  desist  from  such  a  frightful  proceeding. 

The  rebellion  was  effectively  suppressed,  but  a  great 
lomestic  bereavement  befell  the  Sultan.  When  the  Mongols 
Death  of  under  their  lead^rjjajowu invaded  the  Punjab- 
in  1285  A.D.,  his  son,  Prince  Muhammad, 
^Q  was  placed  in  charge  of  Multan,  marched 
awards  Lahore  and  Dipalpur  to  repel  their  attack.  He  was 
tefeated  and  killed  in  the  encounter  that  followed,  and  hia 
jqprifiee  won  him  the  posthumous  title  of  the  "  Martyr 


Prince."  The  Sultan  was  so  stricken  with  grief  that, 
shortly  afterwards,  he  died  in  1286  A.D.,  leaving  a  will 
in  which  he  nominated  his  grandson  Kai-Khusrau  as  his 
successor.  No  sooner  were  his  eyes  closed  in  death  than 
the  nobles  and  officers  opposed  his  last  testament  and  elevat- 
ed Kaiqubad  to  the  throne,  an  unhappy  choice,  which  ulti- 
mately led  to  the  fall  of  the  Slave  dynasty. 
I^Balban's  career,  full  of  strenuous  activity,  extending 
over  a  period  of  forty  years,  is  unique  in  the  annals  of 

mediaeval  India.     He  enhanced  the   dignity 
of  BaTb8^ ahty  * of  the  kingly  office,  and  established  peace  and 

order  by  a  policy  of  'blood  and  iron/  He 
maintained  a  splendid  court  where  he  presented  himself 
on  public  occasions  with  great  magnificence.  He  always 
behaved  like  a  well-bred  oriental  monarch  ;  his  sense  of 
kingly  dignity  was  so  great  that  he  never  appeared  but  in 
full  dress  even  before  his  private  servants.  He  never 
laughed  aloud  nor  joked  in  his  darbar  ;  nor  did  he  permit 
any  one  to  indulge  in  laughter  or  amusement  in  his  presence. 
He  despised  the  company  of  the  low  and  the  vulgar,  and 
nothing  could  ever  draw  him  into  unnecessary  familiarity 
either  with  friends  or  strangers.  So  punctilious  was  he  in 
maintaining  the  prestige  of  his  office  that  on  one  occasion 
he  refused  a  proffered  gift  of  some  lakhs  from  a  rich  upstart 
who  had  accumulated  a  vast  fortune,  but  who  could  not 
boast  of  a  lofty  gedjgcee.  Low  birth  was  the  grea^e^  dis- 
qualification for  public  office,  and  the  nobles  and  officers 
never  dared  to  recommend  any  but  a  well-born  man  for 
employment  in  the  state.  Balban  had  been  food  of  wine  in 
his  youth,,  Jbjut  he  sswud&t^J  j»ye it  upHwhaa  he  became 
king.  He  took  delight  in  hunting  excursiQRSl  fuwi  oftto 
went  out  on  long  expeditions.  In  his  private  life,  he  wad*a 
F.  7 


kind-hearted  man.  He  loved  his  sons  and  relatives*  and 
even  towards  strangers  who  sought  shelter  at  his  court,  he 
behaved  with  great  generosity.  Though  his  lot  was  cast  in 
stormy  times*  he  took  interest  in  letters  and  extended  his 
patronage  to  literary  men.  All  things  considered*  Balban 
was  a  most  remarkable  ruler  who  saved  the  infant  Muslim 
State  in  India  from  the  Mongol  peril,  and  by  establishing 
social  order  paved  the  way  for  the  military  and  administra- 
tive reforms  of  Alauddin  Khilji.  \l 

Balban's  death  left  a  void  thatVould  not  be  filled.  There 
was  none  among  his  survivors,  who  could  wield  the  sceptre 
which  he  had  swayed  for  twenty  years  with 
°f  such  *bility  and  success.  The  personal  factor 
counted  for  much  in  mediaeval  politics,  and 
as  soon  as  the  master-hand  of  Balban  was  removed  by  death, 
the  affairs  of  the  state  fell  into  confusion,  and  the  old 
confidence  in  the  justice  and  strength  of  the  administration 
was  completely  shaken. 

Kaiqubad  who  was  only  seventeen  years  of  age  was 
elevated  to  the  throne  through  the  intrigues  of  the  Kotwal 
of  Delhi.  From  his  childhood,  he  had  been  brought  up 
with  such  care  that  he  was  never  allowed  to  have  even  a 
look  at  a  fair  damsel,  or  taste  a  cup  of  wine.  Day  and 
night  he  was  watched  by  his  tutors  who  taught  him  tfie 
polite  arts  and  manly  exercises,  and  never  permitted  him  to 
do  an  improper  act  or  utter  an  indecent  word.  Such  a  prince 
found  himself  all  of  a  sudden  in  the  possession  of  a  mighty 
kingdom,  the  vast  wealth  of  which  could  afford  everything 
that  was  needed  for  personal  enjoyment.  He  cast  to  the 
winds  all  lessons  of  prudence  and  self-restraint,  and  at  once 
changed  his  enforced  Puritanism  for  a  life  of  debauch  and 
pleasure.  Balban's  work  was  undone  ;  the  example  of  the 


king  was  followed  by  the  nobles  and  the  ministers  so  that 
court  life  became  notoriously  corrupt,  and  men  of  all  ranks 
gave  themselves  up  to  the  pursuit  of  pleasure. 

While  Kaiqubad  spent  his  time  in  drunken  revels  and 
orgies,  the  business  of  government  was  carried  on  by  Malik 
Nizam-ud-din,  son-in-law  of  the  influential  Kotwal  of  Delhi, 
who  had  deftly  wormed  himself  into  the  confidence  of  the 
Sultan.  Nizam-ud-din  was  a  highly  ambitious  man;  his 
arrogance  and  ascendancy  offended  the  veteran  Khans, 
who  had  since  the  days  of  Aibek  and  lltutmish  served  the 
state  with  signal  devotion.  Bughra  Khan's  absence  in 
Bengal,  the  decline  of  the  power  of  the  nobles,  and  the 
intemperance  and  licentiousness  of  Kaiqubad  led  Nizam-ud- 
din  to  harbour  designs  of  usurping  the  throne  at  a  favour- 
able moment.  But  this  nefarious  plan  could  not  succeed 
unless  Kai  Khusrau,  the  heir-designate  of  Balban,  who  still 
commanded  the  respect  and  esteem  of  the  nobility,  was  got 
rid  of.  With  such  thoughts  in  his  mind  the  minister  ap- 
proached his  insensate  master,  and  obtained  his  assent  to  the 
prince's  murder  in  a  state  of  intoxication.  The  unsuspecting 
young  prince  was  called  away  from  Multan,  and  on  his  way 
to  Delhi  was  murdered  near  Rohtak. 

This  murder  sent  a  thrill  of  horror  throughout  the 
whole  country.  Parties  were  formed,  and  the  Khilji  Amir 
Jalal-ud-din  Firuz,  who  held  the  office  of  the  AriH-wcfc- 
malik  (muster-master)  placed  himself  at  the  head  of  a 
powerful  faction.  The  power  of  Jalal-ud-din  increased,  and 
several  Turkish  Maliks  and  Amirs  went  over  to  his  side, 
thinking  that  resistance  was  impossible.  Two  days  later 
Sultan  Kaiqubad  was  murdered  in  his  .palace  of  mirrors  by 
a  Khilji  Malik,  and  his  corpse  was  thrown  into  the  Jamna. 

Suck  was  the  inglorious  end  of  the  Slave  kings  of  Deity. 


Jalal-ud-din  Firuz  now  obtained  the  support  of  friends  and 
foes  and  ascended  the  throne  at  Kilughari.  But  the  people 
of  Delhi  were  hostile  to  the  Khiljis  ;  they  extended  no  wel- 
come to  Firuz,  and  it  took  him  some  time  to  reconcile  then* 
to  his  usurpation. 

The  conquest  of  Hindustan  accomplished   with  great 
ease  by  the  Muslims  was  primarily  due  to  the  weakness  of 
The     causes     ^e  Etin(*u   soc*ety  which  .had  lost  its  old 
of  Muslim  sue-     vigour  owing  to  mutual  jealousies  and  dis~ 
ce88"  sensions.    The  whole  country  was  split  up 

into  a  number  of  independent  states,  often  fighting  against 
one  another.  There  was  no  dearth  of  military  talent  in  the 
country,  for  the  Rajputs  were  the  finest  soldiers  and  were 
scarcely  inferior  to  the  Muslims  in  courage  and  determina- 
tion. The  Muslims  came  from  the  cooler  regions  beyond  the 
Afghan  hills  and  displayed  much  vigour  and  energy  in  actual 
campaign.  They  possessed  better  organisation,  discipline 
and  coherence.  Islam  is  one  great  brotherhood  in  which  the 
high  and  the  low,  the  rich  and  the  poor  are  all  alike  and  no 
distinctions  are  made  between  man  and  man.  The  practice 
of  proselytism  ordained  by  Islam  inspired  its  followers  with 
the  fanatical  zeal  of  the  missionary  which  made  them  stand 
united  in  a  solid  phalanx  against  their  enemies.  As  Lane* 
Poole  says,  "  the  very  bigotry  of  their  creed  was  an  instru- 
ment of  self-preservation ;  in  mere  self-defence  they  must 
hold  together  as  God's  elect  in  the  face  of  the  heathen,  and 
they  must  win  over  proselytes  from  the  Hindus,  whether  by 
persuasion  or  by  the  sword,  to  swell  their  isolated  minority." 
ft  was  devotion  to  the  faith  which  made  them  so  violent 
and  aggressive  in  dealing  with  non-Muslims.  The  Musal- 
man  cheerfully  risked  his  life  in  the  service  of  his  faith 
and  made  the  heaviest  sacrifices.  As  compared  with  the 


Muslims,  the  Hindus  were  weak  and  divided  and  had  only 
clan  or  caste  interests  to  uphold.  The  caste  system  created 
artificial  barriers  which  prevented  the  unification  of  the 
various  groups  for  purposes  of  common  defence  and  safety. 
Even  the  most  distinguished  generals  and  warriors  found 
it  difficult  to  shake  off  the  influence  of  caste,  and  were  often 
arrayed  in  hostile  camps  even  when  they  were  confronted 
by  a  common  enemy. 

The  military  system  of  the  Hindus  was  out  of  date  and 
old-fashioned.  Their  too  much  dependence  upon  elephants 
was  dangerous  when  they  had  to  fight  against  fierce  and 
well-trained  cavalry  leaders.  Experiei^ce  furnished  ample 
warning,  but  it  was  constantly  disregarded  by  Hindu 
generals  who  adhered  with  great  tenacity  to  their  old 
methods  of  warfare.  The  Musalmans  had  an  excellent 
recruiting  ground  in  the  countries  beyond  the  Afghan  hills, 
from  where  they  could  constantly  bring  fresh  levies  to  fight 
against  the  Hindu  hosts.  Large  numbers  of  men,  attracted 
by  the  wealth  of  India  and  the  love  of  adventure,  enrolled 
themselves  in  the  armies  of  men  like  Mahmud  of  Ghazni 
and  Muhammad  of  Ghor,  whereas  the  Hindus  had  to  confine 
themselves  to  one  country  and  very  often  to  a  single  prin- 
cipality, whose  dimensions  were  not  greater  than  those  of 
a  modem  province.  The  political  system  of  the  Hindus 
restricted  military  duties  to  a  particular  class,  so  that  the 
great  mass  of  the  people  were  either  unfit  for  military 
service  or  indifferent  to  the  political  revolutions  which  shook 
Indian  society  to  its  base.  Every  time,  the  Rajputs  tried 
to  check  the  advance  of  the  foreigners,  but  unsupported  by 
national  will  or  national  strength,  they  could  not  hold  out 
long  against  such  formidable  foes.  Thus,  the  Muslims, 
when  they  came  in  contact  with  the  disunited  and  enfeebled 


faces  of  Hindustan,  found  little  difficulty  in  obtaining* 
victory  over  them.  The  war  between  the  two  peoples  was 
really  a  struggle  between  two  different  social  systems,  the 
one,  old  and  decadent,  and  the  other,  full  of  youthful  vigour 
and  enterprise. 

Another  great  source  of  strength  to  the  Muslims  was 
their  slave  system.  Sometimes  it  produced  extremely 
capable  men  like  lltutmish  and  Balban,  who  were  infinitely 
superior  to  the  average  men  who  inherited  crowns  and 
kingdoms  by  the  mere  accident  of  birth.  To  be  the  slave 
of  a  great  king  or  captain  of  war  was  looked  upon  as  a 
privilege  in  the  Islamic  east,  and  often  men  of  servile  origin 
were  deemed  equal  or  even  superior  to  the  purest  aristocrats. 
Stanley  Lane-Poole's  remarks  on  the  efficacy  of  the  slave 
system  deserve  to  be  quoted:  "JiVhile  a  brilliant  ruler'a 
qon  is  apt  to  be  a  failure,  the  slaves  of  a  real  leader  of  mep 
have  often  proved  the  equals  of  their  master.  The  reason, 
of  66Uf86,  IB  that  tbe  son  is  a  mere  speculation,  he  may 
or  may  not  inherit  his  father's  talents  :  even  if  he  does,  the 

SUCCeSS  and  power  **  thy  fathAr  or^atea  an 

of  luxury  that  does  not  encourage  effort  :  and,  gopd  or 
Jifesonis  an  immovable  fixture:  oplv  a  father  with  an 
exceptional  sense  of  public  duty  would  execute  an  incom- 
petent son  to  make  room  for  a  talented  slave.  On  the 
other  hand  the  slave  is  the  '  survival  of  the  fittest'  ;  he  is 
chosen  for  physical  and  mental  abilities,  and  he  can  hope 
to  retain  his  position  in  his  master's  favour  only  by  vigilant 
effort  and  hard  service.  Should  he  be  found  wanting,  his 
fate  is  sealed/'1 

*  Medical  India,  p.  64 


"^MMMMHMWWIMMMMMW»          * 

The  throne  of  Delhi  now  passed  into  the  hands  of  the 
Khilji  Turks,  and  in  a  public   Durbar  held  at  Kilughari 
T    -  p  Uti  ,,.    the  soldiers  and  citizens  all  tendered  fealty 
the  new  Sultan.  Gradually  he  established 

>  an(j  the  "  excellence  of  his 
character,  his  justice,  his  generosity  and  devotion  gradual- 
ly removed  the  aversion  of  the  people,  and  hopes  of 
grants  of  land  assisted  in  conciliating,  though  grudging- 
ly and  unwillingly,  the  affections  of  his  people.  "  Firug 
was  a  good  old  man  of  seventy,  who  was  averse  to  bloocf 
shed  and  war,  but  his  mildness  and  tenderness  fostered 
sedition  in  the  state  and  encouraged  the  spirit  of  rebel- 
lion and  disorder.  In  the  second  year  of  the  reigr 
Balban's  nephew  Malik  Chajju,  who  held  the  fief  of  Kara, 
broke  out  into  rebellion.  He  marched  towards  Delhi  a1 
the  head  of  a  considerable  force,  but  when  the  royal  armj 
approached,  his  followers  dispersed  in  fear.  Those  who 
were  captured  were  brought  before  the  Sultan  who 
granted  them  a  pardon  and  entrusted  Kara  to  his 
nephew  and  son-in-law  Alauddin. 

The  Sultan's  foreign  policy  was  as  weak  and  timid  as 
his  domestic  policy.  The  expedition  against  Ranthambhor 
failed,  and  the  Sultan's  army  returned  in  disappointment 
to  the  capital.  Better.  success  attended  his  anna 



tiie  Mongols  invaded  Hindustan  under  their  leader  HalSkEL 
They  were  defeated  and  massacred  in  large  numbers.  At 
last  peace  was  made  with  them  and  they  were  allowed  to 
settle  near  Delhi.  This  policy  had  disastrous  consequences: 
for  Mughalpur  became  a  centre  of  intrigue  and  disaffec- 
tion and  caused  much  anxiety  to  the  rulers  of  Delhi. 

Alauddin,  the  Sultan's  nephew  and  son-in-law,   had 
been  entrusted  with  the  fief  of  Kara  and  Oudh.    Removed 
from  the  control  of  the  Sultan,  Alauddin, 
expedition  "to     who  was  an  ambitious  man,  conceived  the 

Devagir,  1294  fc^  project  of  making  a  raid  upon  Devagir, 
which  is  one  of  the  most  memorable  feats 
in  the  annals  of  mediaeval  India.  He  had  heard  of 
the  fabulous  wealth  of  Devagir,  the  capital  of  the 
Yadava  Rajas  of  Maharashtra,  and  eagerly  longed  to 
obtain  possession  of  it. 

He  marched  at  the  head  of  8,000  horse  and  reached 
Elichpur  not  far  from  the  frontiers  of  the  Maratha  king- 
dom. From  Elichpur  he  proceeded  towards  Ghati-lajaura, 
at  a  distance  of  12  miles  from  Devagir  without  encounter- 
ing any  opposition.  When  Ramachandra,  the  Raja  of 
Devagir,  heard  of  the  enemy's  advance,  he  shut  himself 
up  in  his  fortress  and  resolved  to  face  the  attack  of  the 
Muslims.  Meanwhile  Alauddin's  troops  entered  the  town 
and  levied  a  heavy  contribution  upon  the  merchants  and 
bankers.  Ramachandra  was  frightened  by  the  rumour 
that  the  Sultan  was  also  coming  towards  the  Deccan  at 
the  head  of  20,000  horse,  and  he  offered  to  make  peace. 
He  agreed  to  pay  a  ransom  of  fifty  mans  of  gold,  seven 
man*  of  pearls,  and  other  valuable  things  in  addition  to 
forty  elephants,  some  thousands  of  horses,  and  the 
plunder  which  he  had  already  collected  from  the  city. 


When  Ramachandra's  son  Sankara  Deva  heard  of  this 
peace,  he  hastened  to  the  rescue  of  his  father  and  asked 
Alauddin  to  restore  whatever  booty  he  had  seized  from 
his  father  and  to  leave  the  province  quietly.  Alauddin 
treated  this  demand  as  an  insult  and  proceeded  to  attack 
&ankara,  leaving  a  thousand  horse  to  invest  the  fort,  but 
in  the  encounter  that  followed,  the  Maratha  army 
defeated  the  Muslims  and  dispersed  them  in  all  direc- 
tions. The  arrival  of  the  force  which  Alauddin  had  left 
to  conduct  the  siege  of  the  fort,  infused  a  fresh  hope 
into  the  Musalman  army.  A  panic  seized  the  Hindus, 
and  they  sustained  a  severe  defeat.  Enormous  booty 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  victorious  general,  who  demand- 
ed the  cession  of  Elichpur  for  the  support  of  the  garri- 
son which  he  intended  to  leave  behind.  These  terms 
having  been  accepted  by  Ramachandra,  Alauddin  return- 
ed to  Kara  in  triumph. 

The  Sultan  was  delighted  at  the  success  of  his 
nephew.  Accompanied  by  a  scanty  retinue,  he  crossed 
the  Ganges  in  a  barge  and  met  Alauddin  with  a  few 
adherents.  When  the  old  man  affectionately  embraced 
him,  he  was  murdered,  and  the  royal  party  was  put  to 
the  sword.  The  Sultan's  head  was  paraded  in  the  army, 
and  Alauddin  was  proclaimed  king  of  Delhi. 

On  his  accession  to  the  throne  Alauddin  found  himself 
confronted  with  a  difficult  situation.  The  Jalali  nobles  had 
Aiauddin'8    not  yet  completely  forgotten  the  murder  of 
early  difficui-    their  good  old  chief,  and  secretly  plotted  to 
tie8'  avenge  it.  The  Queen-mother  MalikaJahan, 

whomJBarani  describes  *'  aa  ong  9^  thfi-sillifist-QfJJie  silly* n 
fomented  intrigues  to  push  forward  the  claims  of  her  own 
aons»  Arkali  Khan  and  Qadr  Khan.  The  hostile  nobles  an{L 


—  bv  laviflH  gjftfl  omotJQtifl 

hiyh  office,  while  the  common  people  were  reconciled  ta 
the  new  regime  by  scattering  gold  stars  amongst  them 
from  mcmynia**  Malika  Jahan,  who  had  raised  to  the* 
throne  Qadr  Khan  under  the  title  of  Rukn-ud-din  Ibrahim, 
wrote  to  Arkali  Khan  at  Multan  asking  him  to  come  ta 
Delhi,  but  he  excused  himself  on  the  ground  that  the 
defection  of  the  nobles  had  made  the  task  of  restoration 
absolutely  impossible.  When  Alauddin  reached  near  the 
capital,  Rukn-ud-din  Ibrahim  came  out  of  the  city  to  op- 
pose his  progress,  but  in  the  middle  of  the  night,  the  left 
wing  of  his  army  went  over  to  the  enemy.  The  prince,. 
taking  some  bags  full  of  gold  tankSs  and  a  few  horses* 
from  the  stables,  made  off  for  Multan.  Alauddin  then 
made  his  triumphal  entry  into  the  plain  of  Siri,  where  he 
received  the  homage  of  all  parties.  K^rani-  describes  the 
situation  in  these  words  :  "the  throne  was  now  secure, 
and  the  revenue  officers  and  the  keepers  of  elephants 
with  their  elephants,  and  the  kotwals  with  the  keys  of 
the  forts,  and  the  magistrates  and  the  chief  men  of  the 
city  came  out  to  Alauddin,  and  a  new  order  of  things  was 
established.  His  wealth  and  power  were  great  ;  so 
whether  individuals  paid  their  allegiance  or  whether 
they  did  not,  mattered  little,  for  the  KutbS  was  read 
and  coins  were  struck  in  his  name." 

Having  secured  his  power,  Alauddin  turned  to  combat 
the  great  danger  of  the  ever-  recurring  Mongol  raids.    He 

completed  the  work  of  Balban  and  effectively 
**    garrisoned  the  frontier  outposts  of  the  king- 

dom.   The  Mongols  came  again  and  again, 
tot  they  were  repulsed  with  heavy  tosses.    In  the  second 
of  the  reign,  Amir  Daud,  the  ruler  of  Tranaoxian* 


advanced  with  an  army  of  100,000  Mongols  with  a  view 
to  conquer  Multan,  the  Punjab  and  Sindh,  but  Ulugh 
Khan  drove  them  back  with  heavy  losses.  The  Mongols 
did.not  mind  this  discomfiture  and  appeared  again  under 
their  leader  Saldj.  Zaf ar  Khan  marched  against  them  and 
QM^MpKiremongol  Saldi  and  his  2,000  followers,  and 
sent  them  in  chains  to  Delhi.  But  the  most  dreadful* 
invasion  of  the  Mongols  occurred  in  the  year  1298  A.D.r 
when  flutlugfr  Jfchwaia.  at  the  head  of  a  countless  host, 
advanced  against  Delhi.  A  feeling  of  consternation 
spread  among  the  population,  and  a  war  council  was 
forthwith  summoned  by  the  Sultan  fd  devise  means  of 
repelling  the  attack  of  the  enemy.  Zafar  Khan  and 
Ulugh  Khan  proceeded  against  them,  and  the  Sultan 
himself  took  the  field  in  person  at  the  head  of  12,000 
well-equipped  volunteers.  The  Mongols  were  defeated 
and  dispersed,  though  Zafar  Khan,  the  greatest  warrior 
of  the  age,  was  slain  in  the  thick  of  the  fight.  Just  at 
this  time,  Targhi,  another  Mongol  leader,  appeared  at  the 
head  of  aTWnsfcterable  force,  but  the  danger  was  averted 
through  the  good  offices  of  Nizam-ud-din  Aulia.  Notwith- 
standing these  reverses,  the  Mongol  raids  did  not  cease, 
and  in  1304  A.D.f  jMiJBeg  and  Khwaja  Tash,  marching  to 
the  north  of  Lahore  "and  skirtffig13ie^walik  hills,  made 
an  incursion  into  Hindustan,  and  penetrated  as  far  as 
Amroha.  Ghazi  Tughluq,  who  was  warden  of  the  marches 
at  Dipalpur,  marched  against  them  and  inflicted  heavy 
losses  upon  them.  This  was  followed  by  other  raids,  but 
Ghazi  Tughluq  again  rose  equal  to  the  occasion  and 
repulsed  the  invading  hordes.  When  Iqbalmandg  came 
with  a  large  force,  the  Sultan  sent  an  army  aganurt  him. 
He  was  defeated  and  slain,  and  thousands  of  Mongda 


were  massacred.    Several  of  the  Mongol  Amirs  who  were 
commanders    of    one  thousand  or   one    hundred   were 
captured    alive,   and  were  trampled  under  the  feet  of 
elephants  by  the  order  of  the  Sultan.    The  Mongols  were 
30  frightened  by  his  forays  into  their  country  that  they 
never  appeared    again    in    Hindustan.    To  ^gSl&jtr  his 
dominions  against  the  Mongols,   the  Sultan   adopteS*the 
frontier  policy  of  Balban.    All  old  forts  that  lay  on  the 
route  of  the  Mongols  were  repaired,  and  veteran  com- 
manders were  placed  in  charge  of  them.   The  outposts   of 
Samana  and  Dipalpur  were  garrisoned  and  kept  in  a  state 
of  defence.    The  royal  army  was  considerably  strengthen- 
ed, and  in  the  workshops  of  the  state  engineers  were 
employed  to  manufacture  weapons  of  all  kinds,   to  fight 
against  the  enemy. 

Having  got  rid  of  these  nomad  hordes,  Alauddin  turned 

his  attention  to  foreign  conquest   Ulugh  Khan  and  Nusrat 

Khan  had  conquered  Gujarat  and  Nehrwala, 

The  g  r  a  n  d     an(j  subjected  the  merchants  of  Cambay  to 

designs  of  the          ,  ,  ,  _,        _      .     .       _.    .      ^ 

Sultan.  a  heavy  blackmail.    The  Baghela  Rajput, 

Karan,  had  fled  from  his  country,  leaving 
his  wife  and  children  to  be  captured  by  the  invaders  in 
1297  A.D.  From  all  sides  came  the  news  of  success,  and 
enormous  booty  flowed  into  the  coffers  of  the  Sultan. 
Barani  writes  :  "All  this  prosperity  intoxicated  him.* 
Vast  desires  and  great  aims  far  beyond  him  formed  their 
germs  in  his  brain,  and  he  entertained  fancies  which  had 
never  occurred  to  any  king  before  him.  In  his  exulta- 
tion, ignorance  and  folly,  he  quite  lost  his  head,  forming 
the  most  impossible  schemes  and  nourishing  the  most 
extravagant  desires.  He  was  bad-tempered,  obstinate 
and  hard-hearted,  but  the  world  smiled  upon  him, 


fortune  befriended  him  and  his  schemes  were  generally 
iccessful,  so  he  only  became  the  more  reckless  and 
brrogaut."    He  became  so  presumptuous  that  he  began 
to  cherish  the  dream  of  founding  a  new  religion  and 
going  out  into    the  world  in  search    of    conquest    like 
Alexander  the  Great.    On  these   ambitious  schemes  he 
used  to  expatiate  in  the  following  manner  :  — "  God  Al- 
mighty gave  the  blessed  Prophet  four  friends,  through 
whose  energy  and  power  the  law  and  religion  were  estab- 
lished, and  through  this  establishment  of  law  and  religion 
the  name    of  the    Prophet  will  endure  to  the  day  of  judg 
ment.     God  has  given  me  also  four  friends,  Ulugh  Khan, 
Zafar  Khan,  Nusrat  Khan,  Alap  Khan,  who,  through  my 
prosperity,  have  attained  to  princely  power  and  dignity. 
If  I  am  so  inclined,   I  can ,  with  the  help  of  these  four 
friends,    establish    a  new  religion  and  creed  ;  and  my 
sword,   and    the  swords  of  my  friends,  will  bring  all  men 
to  adopt  it.    Through  this  religion,  my  name  and  that  of 
my  friends  will  remain  among  men  to  the  last  day,  like  the 
names  of  the  Prophet  and  his  friends  ....  I  have  wealth, 
and  elephants,  and  forces  beyond  all  calculation.  My  wish 
is  to  place  Delhi  in  charge  of    a  vicegerent,  and  then  I 
will  go  out  myself  into  the  world,  like  Alexander,  in  pur 
suit  of  conquest,  and  subdue  the  whole  habitable  world." 
Qazi  Ala-ul-mulk,  uncle  of  the  historian  Zia  BaranL 
was  consulted  by  the  Sultan,   who  thus  expressed  his 
opinion  on  the  subject:    "  Religion  and  law  spring  from 
heavenly  revelation ;  they  are  never  established  by  the  plans 
and  designs  of  men.  Prom  the  days  of  Adam  till  now  they 
have  been  the  mission  of  Prophets  and  Apostles,  as  rule  and 
government  have  been  the  duty  of  kings.    The  prophetic 
office  has  never  appertained  to  kings,  and  never  will,  so 


long  as  the  world  lasts,  though  some  Prophets  have  dis- 
charged the  functions  of  royalty.    My  advice  is  that  Your 
Majesty  should  never  talk  about  these  matters.    Your 
Majesty  knows  what  rivers  of  blood  Chingiz  Khan  made 
to  flow  in  Muhammadan  cities,  but  he  never  was  able  to 
establish    the    Mughal    religion    or  institutions  among: 
Muhammadans.    Many  Mughals  have  turned  Musalmans 
but  no  Musalman  has  ever  become  a  Mughal. "    On  the 
subject  of  conquest  the  Qazi  thus  expressed  his  opinion  : 
"  The  second  design  is  that  of  a  great  monarch  for  it  is  a 
rule  among  kings  to  seek  to  bring  the  whole  world  under 
their  sway  ;  but  these  are  not  the  days  of  Alexander,  and 
where  will  there  be  found  a  Wazir  like  Aristotle.     .     .    . 
There  were  two  important  undertakings  open  to  the  king, 
which  ought  to  receive  attention  before  all  others.  One  is 
the  conquest  and  subjugation  of  all  Hindustan,  of  such 
places  as  Ranthambhor,  Chittor,  Chanderi,  Malwa,  Dhar 
and  Ujjain,  to  the  east  as  far  as  the  Saryu,  from  the 
Siwalik  to  Jalor,  from  Multan  to  Damrila,  from  Palam  to 
Lahore  and  Dipalpur  ;  these  places  should  all  be  reduced 
to  such  obedience  that  the  name  of  rebel  should  never  be 
heard*    The  second  and  more  important  duty  is  that  of 
closing  the  road  of  Multan  against  the  Mughals.  "  Before 
closing  his  speech,  the  Qazi  said  :    "  What  I  have  recom- 
mended can  never  be  accomplished  unless  Your  Majesty 
gives  up  drinking  to  excess,  and  keeps  aloof  from  convivial 
parties  and  feasts.     ...    If  you  cannot  do  entirely 
without  wine,  do  not  drink  till  the  afternoon,  and  then  take 
it  alone  without  companions.  "    The  Sultan  appreciated 
the  Qazi's  advice  and  richly  rewarded  him. 

With  the  full  concurrence  of  his  ministers  and  generals, 
Alauddin  now  resolved  to  capture  the  famous  fortress  of 


Hanthambhor  in  1299  A.D.  Ulugh  Khan  and  N.usrat  Khan 
marched  from  their  respective  fiefs  towards 
BajpStlaena.°f      Rajputana  at  the  head  of  a  large  army, 
and  succeeded  in  capturing  the  fortress  of 
Jhain.    Ranthambhor  was  besieged,  but  during  the  siege 
the  imperial  commandant  Nusrat  Khan,  while  he  was 
superintending  the  construction  of  a  redoubt,  was  struck 
with  a  stone  discharged  from  a  catapult  (maghribi)  in  the 
fort.    The  wound  proved  fatal,  and  the  brave  man  suc- 
cumbed to  it  after  a  couple  of  days.    Rana  Hammir  carne 
out  of  the  fort,  and  in  a  short  time  drew  to  his  banner 
200,000  well-equipped  men,  with  whose  help  he  delivered 
a  tremendous  attack  upon  the  Muslims,   and  compelled 
Ulugh  Khan  to  fall  back  upon  Jhain  with  heavy  losses. 
When  the  news  of  this  disaster  reached  the  Sultan,   he 
proceeded  in  person  towards   Ranthambhor,  but  on  his 
way  he  was  attacked  and  wounded  by  his  nephew  Aqat 
Khan,  who  wished  to  seize  the  throne  with  the  help  of 
some  disaffected  new  Muslims.    But  his  attempt  failed, 
and  he  was  punished  with  death  for  his  treason.    There 
were   other  conspiracies   to   deprive  the  Sultan  of  his 
throne,   but  they  were  successfully  put  down.    Freed 
from  this  danger,  the  royalists  concentrated  their  full 
vigour  upon  Ranthambhor,  and  the  siege  was  pushed 
on  for  a  whole  year.    By  means  of  bags  filled  with  sand, 
the  besiegers  escaladed  the  walls  of  the  fortress,  and 
forcibly  obtained  possession  of  it.    Hammir  and  his  family 
were  put  to  death,  and  so  were  the  remnant  of  the  garri- 
,son,  who  had  heroically  battled  for  their  chief  to  the  last.1 

1  The  frightful  rite  of  *'Jauhar"  was  performed,  and  in  Amir 
Khusrau's  words,  one  night  the  Rai  lit  a  fire  at  the  top  of  the  hill,  and 
threw  his  women  and  family  into  the  flames,  and  rushing  on  the  enemy 
with  a  few  devoted  adherents,  they  sacrificed  their  lives  in  despair. 


Eanmal,  the  minister  of  the  Rana,  paid  in  full  the  penal- 
ty of  his  defection  by  suffering  an  ignominious  death. 
But  even  in  these  bloody  annals,  we,  now  and  then,  come 
across  men  of  true  heroism  and  loyalty.  When  Mir 
Muhammad  Shah,  a  Mongol  general  in  the  service  of 
Hammir,  lay  wounded  on  the  field  of  battle,  Alauddin 
asked  him  what  he  would  do  if  he  ordered  his  wounds 
to  be  dressed  and  saved  his  life  from  peril.  In  scornful 
pride  the  vanquished  hero  replied,  "If  I  recover  from 
my  wounds,  I  would  have  thee  slain  and  raise  the  son  of 
Hammir  Deo  upon  the  throne."  Such  fidelity  was  rare 
indeed  in  the  Muslim  camp,  where  an  atmosphere  of 
intrigue  and  self-seeking  prevailed,  and  though  the 
spirited  warrior  was  thrown  down  under  the  feet  of  an 
elephant  to  be  trampled  unto  death,  the  victor's  heart 
was  touched  by  his  manliness,  and  he  ordered  a  decent 
burial  to  be  accorded  to  him.  The  fort  was  taken  in 
July,  1301  A. D.,  and  the  palaces  and  other  forts  of  the 
"stinking  Rai"  were  razed  to  the  ground.  Having 
placed  Ulugh  Khan  in  charge  of  Ranthambhor  and  Jhain, 
the  Sultan  returned  to  the  capital. 

Emboldened  by  this  success,  Alauddin  directed  his 
forces  against  Mewar,  the  premier  state  of  Rajputana. 
No  Muhammadan  ruler  had  yet  ventured  to  penetrate 
into  that  secluded  region,  protected  by  long  chains  of 
mountains  and  deep  forests.  The  physical  features  of 
Mewar  rendered  it  difficult  for  any  conqueror  to  bring  it 
under  his  effective  sway,  and  the  fort  of  Chittor,  situat- 
ed on  a  hill-top,  strongly  fortified  by  nature,  had  always 
defied  the  foreign  invader.  Cut  out  of  a  huge  rock,  the 
famous  fortress  stood  in  its  awful  grandeur,  overlooking 
the  vast  plain  below,  where  the  Hindu  and  Muslim  hosts 


were  to  engage  each  other  in  a  death  grapple.  But  the 
impregnability  of  the  fortress  did  not  deter  the  ambitious 
Sultan  from  attempting  its  conquest,  and  in  1303  A.D. 
he  marched  his  forces  against  Mewar.  The  immediate 
cause  of  the  invasion  was  his  passionate  desire  to  obtain 
possession  of  Padmini,  the  peerless  queen  of  Rana  Ratan 
Singh,  renowned  for  her  beauty  all  over  Hindustan.  It 
is  no  longer  necessary  to  repeat  the  story  of  the 
chivalrous  manner  in  which  the  Rana  agreed  to  gratify 
the  Sultan's  wish  by  allowing  him  to  behold  the 
princess  through  the  medium  of  mirrors,  and  the  foul 
treachery  of  Alauddin  in  capturing  him,  when  he  accom- 
panied him  out  of  courtesy  to  the  outer  gate  of  the 
fortress.  From  his  camp,  he  sent  word  to  the  Rani  that 
her  husband  would  be  released  if  she  chose  to  come  into 
his  harem.  But  how  could  the  Rajputs  brook  this  indelible 
stain  upon  their  national  honour  ?  They  debated  amongst 
themselves  as  to  the  course  which  was  to  be  adopted.  Like 
a  brave  Rajput  matron,  more  anxious  for  the  honour  of 
her  race  than  for  her  own  safety,  the  queen  expressed  her 
willingness  to  abide  by  their  decision.  She  consented  to  go 
to  the  Muslim  camp,  and  Alauddin,  whose  reason  was 
clouded  by  lust,  permitted  her  to  do  so  in  a  manner  befitting 
her  rank  and  dignity.  Seven  hundred  covered  litters 
containing  brave  Rajput  warriors,  well-equipped  with  arms 
proceeded  to  the  royal  camp  and  demanded  the  strictest 
privacy.  They  rescued  the  Rana  and  carried  him  off  to 
Chittor.  A  deadly  fight  raged  at  the  outer  gate  of  the 
fort,  where  the  Rajputs  bravely  resisted  the  invaders,  but, 
at  last,  they  were  overpowered.  When  they  saw  that  there 
was  no  chance  of  escape,  they  prepared  to  die  after  the 
manner  of  their  race.  The  frightful  rite  ofjauhar  was 

P.  8 


performed  and  the  fairest  ladies  of  the  royal  family 
perished  in  the  flames.  Amir  Khusrau,  who  accompanied 
the  Sultan  during  this  expedition,  gives  a  detailed  account 
of  the  siege.  He  writes :  '  The  fort  of  Chittor  was  taken 
on  Monday,  the  llth  Muharram,  703  A. H.  (August  26, 1303). 
The  Rai  fled,  but  afterwards  surrendered  himself.  After 
ordering  a  massacre  of  thirty  thousand  Hindus  he  bestowed 
the  government  of  Chittor  upon  his  son  Khizr  Khan  and 
named  the  place  Khizrabad.  He  bestowed  upon  him  a  red 
canopy,  a  robe  embroidered  with  gold  and  two  standards— 
one  green  and  the  other  black— and  threw  upon  him  rubies 
and  emeralds.  He  then  returned  towards  Delhi/  All 
accounts  agree  that  the  fight  before  Chittor  was  terrible. 

The  fort  was  entrusted  to  Prince  Khizr  Khan  and  the 
town  was  re-named  Khizrabad.  Khizr  Khan  remained  in 
Chittor  for  some  time,  but  about  the  year  1311  he  was 
obliged  to  leave  it  owing  to  the  pressure  of  the  Rajputs. 
The  Sultan  then  made  it  over  to  the  Sonigra  chief  Maldeva 
who  held  it  for  seven  years,  at  the  end  of  which  period  it 
was  recovered  by  Rana  Hammir  by  means  of  |reachery 
and  intrigue.  Under  Hammir  Chittor  once  more  regained 
its  former  splendour  and  became  one  of  the  premier  states 
in  Rajputana. 

The  fall  of  Chittor  was  followed  by  the  submission  of 
the  Rai  of  Malwa,  who  fought  against  the  armies  of  Islam 
at  the  head  of  a  large  force,  but  he  was  defeated  and 
killed,  and  Malwa  was  placed  in  charge  of  a  Muslim  gover- 
nor. Soon  afterwards  the  cities  of  Mandu,  Ujjain,  Dhara- 
nagari  and  Chanderi  were  conquered,  and  their  rulers  were 
compelled  to  acknowledge  the  suzerainty  of  the  Khilji 
war-lord.  By  the  end  of  1305  A.D.,  practically  the  whole 
of  Northern  India  came  into  the  hands  of  Alauddin,  and 


the  policy  of  imperialism,  of  which  he  was  the  author  and 
champion,  gathered  a  fresh  momentum  with  every  new 
conquest  and  annexation. 

Having  conquered  Northern  India  the  Sultan  turned 
his  attention  to  the  Deccan.  The  physical  features  of 
The  Deccen  ^e  country>  ^e  hostility  of  Hindu  Rajas, 
—Conquest  of  the  long  distance  from  the  capital  of  the 
evagir'  empire-  all  made  its  permanent  subjugation 

difficult,  if  not  impossible.  But  Alauddin  was  not  the 
man  to  flinch  back  from  his  resolve.  He  invested  his 
slave  Kafur  with  the  supreme  command  of  the  royal 
forces.  On  his  way  to  the  Deccan,  Kafur  passed  through 
Malwa  and  Gujarat  and  inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon 
Karan,  the  Baghela  ruler,  who  was  obliged  to  surrender 
owing  to  shortage  of  supplies.  Ulugh  Khan,  the  Sultan's 
brother,  forcibly  seized  Devaldevi,  the  daughter  of  Rai 
Karan,  who  was  admitted  into  the  royal  seraglio,  and  was 
afterwards  married  to  Prince  Khizr  Khan,  the  heir- 
apparent.  Kafur  laid  waste  the  whole  country,  and 
secured  the  submission  of  Ramachandra  Yadava  who  was 
sent  to  the  court.  He  was  well  received  by  the  Sultan  who 
conferred  upon  him  the  title  of  Raya  RaySw. 

The  defeat  of  the  Yadavas  of  Devagir  prepared  the 
way  for  the  fall  of  the  other  Hindu  princes  of  the  south. 
In  1309  Kafur  started  on  his  expedition 
°f  a£ainst  the  Kakatiya  Rajas  of  Warangal1 
in  Telingana.  Marching  through  difficult 
and  inhospitable  regions,  he  reached  before  the  fort  of 
Warangal.  Raja  Pratap  Rudra  Deva,  caLte4-  Xadar  Deo 
by  Muslim  historians,  shut  himself  ye&A  itJUTQ  /£>>t,  and 

Warangal  was  the  ancient  capi 


offered  stubborn  resistance.  The  fort,  in  the  words  of 
Amir  Khusrau,  was  so  strong  that  a  spear  of  steel  could 
not  pierce  it,  and  if  a  ball  from  a  western  catapult  were  to 
strike  against  it,  it  would  rebound  like  a  nut,  which 
children  play  with.  After  a  prolonged  siege,  Pratap 
Rudra  Deva  Kskatiya  submitted  and  sued  for  peace  He 
agreed  to  pay  annual  tribute  and  "  sent  a  golden  image  of 
himself,  with  a  gold  chain  round  its  neck  in  acknowledg- 
ment of  his  submission  "  ;  but  Kafur  refused  to  listen  to 
his  overtures*  In  vain  did  the  Brahman  plenipotentiaries 
of  the  Kakatiya  prince  plead  for  quarter  for  their  master. 
The  relentless  general  promised  to  desist  from  a  general 
massacre  of  the  Hindus,  only  on  the  condition  that  their 
chief  should  give  up  all  his  treasures,  and  agree  to  send 
tribute  annually  to  Delhi.  Driven  to  extremities,  Pratap 
Rudra  Deva  accepted  the  humiliating  conditions,  and 
purchased  his  safety  by  offering  a  large  booty.  Kafur, 
with  the  laurels  of  victory  on  his  brow,  fc*  left  Warangal 
and  returned  to  Delhi  with  a  thousand  camels,  groaning 
under  weight  of  treasure,"  in  March  1310,  by  way  of 
Devagir.  Dhar  and  Jhain. 

The  success  which  attended  this  expedition  and  the 
vast  wealth  that  flowed  into  the  coffers  of  the  state,  as 

the  result  of  his  enterprises,  strengthened 
MdbLr!168*  °f  Alauddin's  belief  in  his  destiny,  and  he 

resolved  to  extend  the  limits  of  hi$  empire 
to  the  farthest  extremity  of  the  South.  Dvarasamudra 
and  Mabar1  still  remained  outside  the  pale  of  his  empire. 

the  name  given   to  the  strip  of  land  which  according  to 
WassSf,  Polo  and  Abul  Peda  extended  from  Kulam  to  Nils  war  (Nellore). 
Wassaf  writes  in   his   Tazriyat-ul-Amaar  that  Mabar  extended  from 
Kulam  to  Nilawar    (Nellore),    nearly  three  hundred    parasangs  along, 
the  sea-coast.     (Elliot,  II  Ir  p.  *32.) 


Under  Vira  BallSla  III,  the  son  of  Nara  Siihha,  the 
Hoysala  dominions  above  and  below  the  Ghats  had  been 
reunited ;  and  this  powerful  ruler  held  sway  over  the 
whole  of  Kangu  and  a  portion  of  the  Konkan  and  the 
whole  of  what  is  now  known  as  the  Mysore  country. l 
Ballala  was  a  capable  prince,  who,  like  the  other  Hindu 
princes  of  his  day,  had  consolidated  his  power  by  abolish- 
ing vexatious  imposts  and  granting  charitable  religious 
endowments.  Bitter  rivalry  existed  between  the  Hoysalas 
and  the  Yadavas,  and  each  tried  to  ruin  the  other.  At  last 
these  mutual  feuds  and  strifes  disabled  both  of  them  and 
made  room  for  a  third  power,  namely,  the  Muslims.  On 
November  18, 1310  A.D.,  the  royal  army  under  the  leader- 
ship of  Kaf ur  left  Delhi,  and  having  crossed  deep  rivers, 
ravines,  and  mountain  valleys,  reached  the  country  of 
M&bar.  Vira  Ballala  suffered  a  crushing  defeat  and  sur- 
rendered himself  to  the  victorious  general.  But  Kaf  ur  was 
not  satisfied  with  mere  surrender ;  he  informed  the  Rai 
that  he  must  either  embrace  Islam  or  accept  the  position 
of  a  Zimmi.2  The  Rai  accepted  the  latter  alternative, 
paid  a  huge  war  indemnity,  and  became  a  vassal  of  Delhi. 
The  Muslims  captured  a  large  booty,  which  consisted  of 
36  elephants  and  an  abundant  quantity  of  gold,  silver, 
jewels,  and  pearls.  Vira  Ballala  was  sent  to  Delhi  along 
with  the  elephants  and  horses,  and  a  reference  to  this 
visit  occurs  in  his  inscriptions. 

Kafur  next  turned  against  the  Pandyas  of  Madura. 
What  gave  the  Muslims  their  long-desired  opportunity  was 

1  Vira   Ballala  was  crowned  in  1292  A.D.,  and  died  fighting  against 
the  Turks  in  1342  A.D. 

2  A  Zimmi  Is  an  unbeliever  who  does  not  accept  Islam,    but  for  a 
.monetary  consideration  is  allowed  security  of  life  and  property. 


a  quarrel  between  the  two  brothers  Sundara  Pandya  and 
Vlra  Pandya,  an  illegitimate  son  of  the  ruler  of  the  Pandya 
kingdom.  He  set  out  for  the  Deccan  at  the  head  of  a 
large  army.  Amir  Khusrau  in  his  Tarikh-i-Alai  gives  a 
graphic  account  of  the  progress  of  this  valiant  general 
through  the  distant  and  inaccessible  regions  of  the  south. 
On  his  way  he  seized  elephants  and  demolished  temples  at 
several  places,  and  on  the  17th  of  Zilqada,  710  A.H. 
(April  1311),  he  arrived  at  'Kham'  from  where  he  marched 
towards  Madura,  the  capital  of  the  Pandya  kings.  The 
Rai  fled  on  the  approach  of  the  invaders  who  captured 
elephants  and  destroyed  temples.  According  to  Amir 
Khusrau  the  booty  seized  consisted  of  512  elephants,  five 
thousand  horses  and  five  emeralds  and  rubies.  It  appears 
Kafur  reached  as  far  as  Rame6varam,  a  well-known  place 
of  Hindu  pilgrimage.  The  great  temple  was  plundered,  the 
idol  destroyed,  after  which  Kafur  returned  to  Delhi  to- 
wards the  close  of  the  year  1311  A.D.  Having  subdued 
the  whole  country,  Kafur  returned  to  Delhi  on  the  4th 
Zil-hijja,  710  A.H.  (April  24,  1311  A. D.),  laden  with  the 
spoils  of  war,  and  was  accorded  a  cordial  welcome  by 
the  Sultan.  The  victory  was  proclaimed  from  the  pulpits, 
and  rich  rewards  were  distributed  among  the  nobles  and 
officers  of  the  empire. 

After  Rama  Deva's  death,  his  son  Sankara  Deva  had 
ceased  to  pay  the  customary  tribute  and  had  refused  to 

fulfil  the  obligations  of  an  ally  during 
6ank!laaDeva,f  Kafur's  expedition  against  the  Hoysalas. 

Alauddin's  wrath  was  kindled  at  this  infideli- 
ty, and  for  the  fourth  time  the  slave- warrior  was  sent  to  the 
Deccan  at  the  head  of  a  large  force  in  1312  A.D.  The 
whole  of  Maharashtra  was  ravaged,  and  the  Yadava  prince 


was,  after  a  feeble  resistance,  defeated  and  beheadea.j 
The  whole  of  South  India  now  lay  at  the  feet  of  Kafur, 
and  the  ancient  dynasties  of  the  Cholas,  the  Cheras,  thej 
Pandyas,  the  Hoysalas>  the  Kskatiyas,  and  the  YSdavasj 
were  all  overthrown,  and  made  to  acknowledge  thcj 
suzerainty  of  Delhi.  By  the  end  of  1312  Alauddin's  empirej 
embraced  the  whole  of  the  north  and  the  south  and  all 
the  leading  princes  owned  his  sway. 

Alauddin  was  opposed  to  the  interference  of  the  ulama 
In  matters  of  state,  and  in  this  respect  he  departed  from  the 
Alauddin's  traditions  of  the  previous  rulers  of  Delhi. 
jheory  of  king-  The  law  was  to  depend  upon  the  will  of  the 
3  lp*  monarch,  and  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 

law  of  the  Prophet  -this  was  the  guiding  maxim  of  the 
new  monarch.  The  Sultan's  political  theory  is  clearly  set 
forth  in  the  words  which  he  addressed  to  Qazi  Mughis-ud- 

whom  he  consulted  about  the  legal  position  of  the 
sovereign  power  in  the  state.  He  upheld  the  royal  prero- 
gative of  punishment  and  justified  the  mutilation  of  dis- 
honest and  corrupt  officers,  though  the  Qazi  declared 
it  contrary  to  canon  law.  Then  the  Sultan  asked  him, 
"That  wealth  which  I  acquired  while  I  was  a  Malik, 
with  so  much  bloodshed  at  Devagir,  does  it  belong  to  me 
or  to  the  public  treasury?  "  The  Qazi  replied,  "  I  am 
bound  to  speak  the  truth  to  your  Majesty.  The  treasure 
obtained  at  Devagir  was  obtained  by  the  prowess  of  the 
army  of  Islam,  aad  whatever  treasure  is  so  acquired  belongs 
to  the  public  treasury.  '  If  your  Majesty  had  gained  it 
yourself  alone  in  a  manner  allowed  by  the  law,  then  it 
would  belong  to  you."  The  Sultan  flared  up  with  wrath 
and  asked  the  Qazi  how  such  treasure  could  belong  to  the 

1  The  public  treasury  is  called  the  *  Bet-ul-mal  '  in  legal  language. 


state.  The  Qazi  meekly  answered,  "  Your  Majesty  has  put 
to  me  a  question  of  law  ;  if  I  were  not  to  say  what  I  have 
read  in  the  book,  and  your  Majesty  to  test  my  opinion 
were  to  ask  some  other  learned  man,  and  his  reply,  being 
in  opposition  to  mine,  should  show  that  I  had  given  a  false 
opinion  to  suit  your  Majesty's  pleasure,  what  confidence 
would  you  have  in  me,  and  would  you  ever  afterwards 
consult  me  about  the  law  ? ' ' 

The  Qazi  was  confronted  with  a  fresh  question  about 
the  rights  of  the  king  and  his  children  upon  the  public 
treasury,  the  Bet-ul-mal.  Frightened  by  the  Sultan's 
stern  demeanour,  the  Qazi  screwed  up  courage  with 
great  difficulty  to  return  a  reply  and  said,  "  If  your 
Majesty  will  follow  the  example  of  the  most  enlightened 
Khalifas,  and  will  act  upon  the  highest  principle,  then 
you  will  take  for  yourself  and  your  establishment  the 
same  sum  as  you  have  allotted  to  each  fighting  man, 
two  hundred  and  thirty-four  tankas.  If  you  would 
rather  take  a  middle  course  and  should  think  that  you 
would  be  disgraced  by  putting  yourself  on  a  par  with  the 
army  in  general,  then  you  may  take  for  yourself  and  your 
establishment  as  much  as  you  have  assigned  to  your  chief 
officers,  such  as  Malik  Kiran  and  others.  If  your  Majesty 
follows  the  opinions  of  politicians,  then  you  will  draw  from 
the  treasury  more  than  any  other  great  man  receives,  so 
that  you  may  maintain  a  greater  expenditure  than  any 
other,  and  not  suffer  your  dignity  to  be  lowered.  I  have  put 
before  your  Majesty  three  courses,  and  all  the  crores  of 
money  and  valuables  which  you  take  from  the  treasury  and 
bestow  upon  your  women  you  will  have  to  answer  for  on  the 
day  of  account."  The  Sultan  was  filled  with  wrath  and 
threatened  the  Qazi  with  severe  punishment  When  he 


again  recounted  his  proceedings,  the  Qazi  placed  his  fore- 
head on  the  ground  and  cried  with  a  loud  voice,  "  My 
liege  !  whether  you  send  me,  your  wretched  servant,  to 
prison,  or  whether  you  order  me  to  be  cut  in  two,  all  this 
is  unlawful,  and  finds  no  support  in  the  sayings  of  the 
Prophet,  or  in  the  expositions  of  the  learned. "  The  expo- 
nentof  the  canon  law  knew  that  his  fate  was  sealed,  but  to 
his  utter  astonishment  when  he  went  to  the  court  the  next 
day,  the  Sultan  treated  him  kindly  and  handsomely  reward- 
ed him.  With  a  politeness,  which  was  agreeably  surpris- 
ing, he  explained  to  the  Qazi  his  doctrine  of  kingship  in 
these  significant  words  :  — "  To  prevent  rebellion  in  which*1 
thousands  perish,  I  issue  such  orders  as  I  conceive  to  be 
for  the  good  of  the  state,  and  the  benefit  of  the  people.: 
Men  are  heedless,  disrespectful,  and  disobey  my  commands ; 
I  am  then  compelled  to  be  severe  to  bring  them  into  obe- 
dience. /  do  not  knoiv  whether  this  is  lawful  or  unlawful  ; 
whatever  I  think  to  be  for  the  good  of  the  state,  or  suitable 
for  the  emergency,  that  I  decree  and  as  for  what  may 
happen  to  me  on  the  approaching  day  of  Judgment  that  I 
know  not."  This  new  doctrine  of  sovereignty  was  the 
outcome  of  the  circumstances  of  the  time.  The  people 
readily  acquiesced  in  it,  and  cared  nothing  for  the  claims 
-of  the  ulama.  They  tamely  submitted  to  him  because  he 
gave  them  the  much  coveted  gifts  of  peace  and  order. 
The  support  which  he  received  from  public  opinion  made 
him  irresistible  as  long  as  he  lived. 

Alauddin  brought  to  bear  upon  his  methods  of  admi- 
nistration ability  and  insight,  which  we  rarely  find  in  men 
endowed  with  mere  military  genius.    Rebel- 
lions  an<J  conspiracies  roused  him  from  his 
lethargy,  and  convinced  him  of  the  necessity 


of  undertaking  drastic  measures  to  put  an  end  to  sedition 
in  the  state.  He  calmly  sat  down  to  find  out  the  causes  of 
political  disorders,  and  came  to  the  conclusion  that  they 
were  due  to  four  things  :— (1)  the  Sultan's  disregard  of  the 
affairs  of  the  nation,  (2)  wine-drinking,  (3)  friendship  and 
frequent  social  intercourse  of  the  Maliks,  Amirs,  and 
grandees  of  the  empire,  and  (4)  superfluity  of  wealth 
which  intoxicated  men's  minds  and  fostered  treason  andji 
disaffection.  - 

This  searching  analysis  led  to  a  highly  repressive  legis* 
lation,  and  the  first  measure  which  the  Sultan  undertook 
was  the  confiscation  of  property.  All  gratuities,  pensions, 
and  endowments  were  confiscated  to  the  state,  and  all 
the  villages  that  were  held  as  milk  (in  proprietary  right) 
or  inam  (in  free  gift),  or  waqf  <as  charitable  endowment) 
were  resumed  and  incorporated  with  the  crown  lands. 
The  fear  of  conspiracy  and  murder  upset  the  Sultan,  and 
he  established  an  elaborate  system  of  espionage,  by  which 
he  tried  to  keep  himself  informed  of  the  doings  of  his 
officials  and  subjects.  The  spies  reported  everything  that 
took  place  in  the  houses  of  the  nobles,  and  often  in  their 
zeal  to  win  royal  favour,  they  carried  the  silly  gossips  of 
the  bazar  to  the  ears  of  the  emperor.  Spirituous  liquor  was 
strictly  forbidden ;  and  the  Sultan  himself  set  an  example- 
by  giving  up  the  habit  of  drink.  All  the  china  and  glass 
vessels  of  the  Sultan's  banqueting  room  were  broken  into 
fragments,  and  "  jars  and  casks  of  wine  were  brought 
out  of  the  royal  cellars,  and  emptied  at  the  Badayun  gate 
in  such  abundance,  that  mud  and  mire  was  produced  as  in 
\  the  rainy  season. "  But  this  regulation  weighed  too  heaviljr 
!  upon  the  people,  and  wine  was  secretly  brought  into  the 
city  by  vintners,  The  nobles  were  permitted  to  drink 


individually  at  their  houses,  but  all  social  intercourse  was 
strictly  prohibited.  All  festive  gatherings  and  convivial 
parties  were  forbidden  in  private  as  well  as  public  houses,, 
with  the  inevitable  result  that  the  amenities  of  social 
life  disappeared,  and,  life  became  an  intolerable  burden. 

The  Hindus  were  treated  with  special  severity.  In  the 
Doab  they  had  to  pay  50  per  c  ent  of  the  total  produce  oi 

their  land  witho  ut  making  any  deductions, 
°f    an(*  M  rigorous  was  the  assessment  that  not 

even  a  biswah  of  land  was  spared.  A  grazing 
tax  was  imposed  upon  cattle,  and  a  house-tax  was  alsa 
levied.  The  same  regulations  were  applied  to  the  khuts  and 
the  balahars }  so  as  to  save  the  poor  from  the  heavy  burden 
of  taxation.  So  rigorously  were  the  new  rules  enforced, 
'  that  the  chaudhris,  khuts,  and  muqaddams  were  not  able 
to  ride  on  horse-back,  to  find  weapons,  to  get  fine  clothes, 
or  to  indulge  in  betel.'  The  policy  of  the  state  was  that 
the  Hindus  should  not  have  so  much  as  to  enable  them  to 
ride  on  horseback,  wear  fine  clothes,  carry  arms  and 
cultivate  luxurious  habits.  They  were  reduced  to  a  state 
of  abject  misery  to  such  an  extent  that  the  wives  of  the 
khuts  and  muqaddams  went  and  served  for  hire  in  the 
houses  of  the  Musalmans.  Barani  speaks  highly  of  the 
wazirof  the  empire  and  says  that  he  brought  all  the 
provinces  under  one  revenue  law  as  if  they  were  all  one 
village.  He  investigated  all  cases  of  embezzlement  and 
inflicted  the  severest  punishment  upon  the  wrong-doers. 
If  the  ledger  of  the  patwari  showed  a  single  jital  standing 
against  the  name  of  any  officer,  he  was  punished  with 

1  Khut  and  Balahar  are  obviously  used  for  landed  classes.  Most, 
probably  they  are  used  here  for  landlords  and  tenants.  [Elliot,  III 
(Appendix),  p.  623.] 


torture  and  imprisonment.  The  post  of  revenue  clerk 
came  to  be  looked  upon  as  dangerous,  and  only  the  bolder 
spirits  offered  themselves  as  candidates  for  it. l 

Alauddinwas  a  true  militarist.  He  saw  clearly  that  his 

empire   could  not  be  maintained  without  a  permanent 

.  standing  army.    With  this  object  in  view  he 

Organisation  ,  __  , 

of  the    army     undertook  military  reform.    He  fixed  the 

of  the  m^ket1  pay  of  a  soldier  at  234  tankas  a  year  and 
that  of  a  man  with  two  horses  at  78  tankas 
more.  But  it  was  impossible  to  maintain  a  large  army 
unless  the  necessaries  of  life  were  cheapened.  For  this 
reason  the  Sultan  fixed  the  prices  of  all  commodities 
required  for  daily  use.  Grain  was  to  be  stored  in  royal 
granaries  and  in  the  Khalsa  villages  of  the  Doab,  the 
revenue  of  the  state  was  realised  not  in  cash  but  in  kind. 
The  prices  of  all;articles  of  food  were  fixed,  and  the  shop- 
keepers were  severely  punished,  if  they  did  not  observe 
these  regulations.  Spies  and  agents  were  employed  who 
reported  to  the  Sultan  the  condition  of  the  market. 

All  merchants,  whether  Hindus  or  Musalmans,  had 
to  register  themselves  and  to  enter  into  engagements 
by  which  they  bound  themselves  to  bring  their  articles  to 
the  Serai  adl,  an  open  space  inside  the  Badaon  gate, 
where  all  articles  were  exposed  for  sale.  Advances  were 
made  from  the  treasury  to  these  wealthy  and  respectable 
Multani  traders,  to  enable  them  to  purchase  goods  in  large 
-quantities.  The  Diwan  issued  permits  to  those  Maliks 

1  Barani  writes  (Tarikh-i-Firuz  Shahi,  Bibliotb.  Ind.,  p.  289)  that 
the  office  of  revenue  clerk  fell  into  such  bad  odour  that  nobody  would 
£ive  his  daughter  in  marriage  to  him  and  the  post  of  mushrif  was 
-accepted  only  by  those  who  did  not  pay  any  heed  to  their  lives.  These 
me  n^  we  re  frequently  cast  into  prison. 


and  Amirs  who  purchased  costly  articles.  This  device  was 
adopted  to  prevent  merchants  from  buying  articles  in  the 
market  at  cheap  rates  and  then  selling  them  at  higher 
rates  in  the  country. 

The  market  was  superintended  by  two  officers— the 
Diwan*i-riyasat  and  the  Shahna-i-mandi.    These  officers 
performed  their  duties  with  the  strictest  honesty  and 
regularity.  The  cattle  market  was  also  controlled,  and  the 
price  of  cattle  fell  considerably.    Horses  of  the  first  class 
could  be  purchased  for  100  to  120  tankas,  of  the  second 
for  80  to  90,  of  the  third  for  65  to  70  tankas,   while  small 
ponies  could  be  had  for  10  to  25  tankas.    A  milch  cow  could 
be  had  for  three  or  four  tankas  and  a  she-goat  for  ten  or 
twelve  or  fourteen  jitals.    The  prices  of  slaves  and  maid- 
servants fell  considerably.   The  punishments  for  the  viola- 
tion of  the  tariff  laws  were  exceptionally  severe.    If  the 
shopkeepers  weighed  less,  an  equal  quantity  of  flesh  was 
cut  off  from  thejrhaunches  to  make  up  the  deficiency  in 
weight.    The  vendors i  were  frequently  kicked  out  of  their 
shops  for  dishonest  dealings.    The  result  of  all  this  was 
that  the  bazar  people  became  quite  submissive,  and  ceased 
to  practise  deceit,  and  often  gave  more  than  the  fixed 

These  reforms  succeeded  well  enough.  The  increased 
strength  and  efficiency  of  the  army  guaranteed  security 
against  Mongol  invasions,  and  held  in  check 
the  refractory  Rajas  and  chieftains.  All  sedi- 
tion was  stamped  out,  and  men's  habits  were 
so  disciplined  that  crime  was  considerably  lessened.  The 
cheapness  of  the  necessaries  of  life  increased  the  happiness 
of  the  people,  and  bound  them  more  closely  to  the  personal 
despotism  of  the  emperor.  Though  the  stress  of  war 


pressed  too  severely  upon  the  resources  of  the  state,  nu- 
merous works  of  public  utility  were  constructed,  and  the 
•emperor  extended  his  patronage  to  the  learned  and  the 
pious.  Amir  Khusrau,  the  poet-laureate  of  the  empire, 
shed  lustre  on  his  reign,  and  pious  men  like  Shaikh  Nizam- 
ud-din  Aulia  and  Shaikh  Rukn-ud-din  did  not  a  little  to 
augment  its  prestige,  but  the  most  important  result  of 
these  measures  was  the  solidity  which  they  imparted  to 
the  central  government.  The  disorderly  habits  of  the 
grandees  of  the  empire  were  put  down  with  a  high  hand, 
and  all  particularism  was  kept  under  firm  control.  The 
governors  in  the  distant  provinces  obeyed  the  orders  of 
the  emperor  with  perfect  obedience.  The  agents  of  the 
government  were  allowed  no  freedom  of  action,  and  the 
disregard  of  the  royal  will  was  treated  as  a  grave  offence 
for  which  severe  punishments  were  laid  down. 

\.  The  foundations  of  the  political  system  which  Alaud- 
jdin  had  built  up  were  unsound.  3.  /The  new  discipline  which 

he  had  imposed  upon  the  people  drove  discon- 
°f    tent  deep  underground  }The  Hindu  Rajas, 

who  had  been  deprived  of  their  indepen- 
dence, sullenly  brooded  over  their  losses  and  waited  for  an 
opportunity  to  strike  a  blow  for  their  freedom JfThe  nobles, 
accustomed  to  a  life  of  gaiety,  were  sick  of  the  obnoxious 
laws  which  they  had  to  obey ;  the  merchants  resented  the 
policing  of  the  market,  while  the  Hindus  groaned  under 
the  humiliations  inflicted  upon  them.  C  The  new  Muslims 
always  plotted  and  intrigued  against  the  Sultan,  i  Over- 
centralisation,  repression,  and  espionage,  all  undermined 
the  imperial  authority.  %.s  the  emperor  advanced  in  years, 
he  became  violent  and  whimsical,  and  his  suspicious  nature 
estranged  from  him  the  sympathies  of  his  leading  nobles. 



To  form  a  class  of  officials  entirely  dependent  on  himself,  he 
Taised  base-born  men  to  positions  of  honour  and  eminence. 
Too  much  depended  upon  the  personality  of  the  Sultan  in 
this  age  ;  and  Alauddin  made  the  mistake  of  minimising 
the  importance  of  this  powerful  factor  in  the  politics 
of  his  day.l'He  neglected  the  education  of  his  sons, 
.and  under  Kafur's  influence  he  treated  them  with  great 
severity.  Besides,  Kafur  secretly  intrigued  to  obtain  power 
for  himself. j&  He  induced  the  emperor  to  execute  a  will 
nominating  his  son,  Shihab-ud-din,  heir  to  the  throne.  The-' 
authority  of  the  emperor  ceased  to  command  respect,  and 
insurrectionary  movements  were  set  on  foot  in  the  outly- 
ing provinces  of  the  empirel^Jn  the  words  of  the  Muslim 
chronicler,  "  Fortune  proved,  as  usual,  fickle;  and  destiny 
drew  her  poniard  to  destroy  him,"  and  the  mighty  monarch 
'  bit  his  own  flesh  with  fury/  as  he  saw  the  work  of  his 
lifetime  being  undone  before  his  eyes.  In  the  midst  of 
these  distressing  circumstances,  the  emperor  who  was 
already  in  the  grip  of  a  mortal  disease,  died  in  1316,  and 
was  buried  in  a  tomb  in  front  of  the  Jam-i-masjid. 

Alauddin  was  by  nature  a  cruel  and  implacable  despot. 
He  swept  aside  the  dictates  of  religious  and  canon  law,  if 

they  interfered  with  his  policy.    He  had  no 
°f     re£ard  for  kinship  and  inflicted  punishments 

without  distinction.  He  possessed  the  qua- 
?  lities  of  a  born  military  leader  and  a  civil  administrator  and 
kept  his  vast  possessions  under  firm  control  as  long  as  he 
lived.  He  clearly  saw  the  dangers  of  his  time  and  guarded 
against  them.  He  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  his  soldiers 
and  his  example  fired  their  zeal.  In  organising  his  civil 
administration  he  displayed  great  originality  and  mental 
^vigour,  and  his  control  of  the  market  is  one  of  the  marvels 


of  mediaeval  statesmanship.    He  ruled  with  a  strong  hand 

and  exercised  personal  supervision  over  the  conduct  of 

his  officials.    No  one  was  allowed  to  take  a  pice  from 

the  cultivators,   and  fraudulent  practices  were  sternly 

put  down.    He  was  himself  illiterate,  but  extended  his 

patronage  to  the  learned  and  pious,  and  granted  stipends- 

and  lands  for  their  maintenance.    Among  the  early  Muslim 

rulers  he  was  the  first  who  had  the  courage  to  oppose  the 

orthodox  policy  of  the  ulama,  and  who  represented  in  his 

person  to  the  fullest  extent  the  virility  and  vigour  of  Islam. 

Alauddin's  death  was  a  signal  for  civil  war  and  the 

scramble  of  rival  parties  for  power.  Malik  Kafur  removed 

from  his  path  the  princes  of  the  blood  royal 

The  weak     one  by  one<  an(j  produced  a  spurious  will  of 

successors    of        ,  ^  .  .          _ 

Aiauddin.  the  late  Sultan  in  which  Omar  Khan  was 
nominated  heir  to  the  throne.  As  Omar  was 
a  little  child  of  six  years  of  age,  Kafur  himself  became 
regent  and  began  to  manage  the  affairs  of  the  state.  The 
first  thing  he  did  was  to  destroy  the  survivors  of  Aiauddin 
All  the  princes  except  Mubarak  Khan  were  put  in  prison 
orjnurdered/  and  Kafur  bestowed  the  highest  offices  on 
KIT  favourites.  This  policy  caused  discontent  among  the 
supporters  of  the  old  regime.  A  conspiracy  was  formed, 
and  the  slaves  of  Aiauddin  with  the  help  of  the  army 
killed  Kafur  and  his  leading  partisans.  After  Kafur  ;s 
death  Mubarak  Khan  succeeded  to  the  throne  under  the 
title  of  Qutbuddin  Mubarak  Shah  in  1316  A,D. 

Mubarak  began  his  reign  well.     He    released    the 
political  prisoners,  restored  the  confiscated  lands  to  their 
owners,  and  abolished  the  numerous  taxes 
which  clogged  the  progress  of  trade  and 
industry.  Barani  writes  that  the  regulations* 


of  Alauddin  fell  into  disuse,  and  men  reverted  to  their  old 
ways  and  habits.  But  there  was  no  serious  rebellion 
except  that  of  Raja  Harapala  Deva  of  Devagir  in  1318  ;  it 
was  quickly  suppressed  and  the  rebel  was  flayed  alive. 
Khusrau,  a  man  of  low  caste  from  Gujarat,  who  had 
become  a  special  favourite  of  the  Sultan,  undertook  an 
expedition  to  Telingana  which  met  with  great  success. 
The  Rai  submitted  and  ceded  to  Khusrau  five  districts 
and  promised  to  pay  an  annual  tribute  of  '  more 
than  a  hundred  strong  elephants  as  large  as  demons, 
12,000  horses,  and  gold,  jewels  and  gems  beyond 

Good  fortune  spoiled  Mubarak.  He  became  proud, 
vindictive  and  tyrannical  and  indulged  in  the  worst 
excesses.  He  lost  all  regard  for  decency  and  morality  and 
often  appeared  in  public  in  the  company  of  harlots.  There 
was  a  great  demand  for  dancing  girls,  and  the  price  of  a 
boy  or  handsome  eunuch,  or  beautiful  girl  varied  from  50Q 
to  1,000  and  2,000  tankas.  The  Sultan  cast  all  decency  to 
the  winds  when  he  allowed  his  unworthy  associates  to 
insult  in  foul  and  obscene  language  the  distinguished, 
nobles  of  the  court.  Khusrau's  influence  increased  every 
day,  and  he  conspired  with  his  castemen  to  bring  about 
the  king's  death.  The  Sultan  was  informed  of  Khusrau's 
evil  intentions,  but  he  paid  no  heed  to  the  advice  of  hia 
well-wishers.  One  night  the  conspirators  entered  the 
palace  and  murdered  the  Sultan.  A  court  was  hastily 
improvised  at  midnight  hour,  and  with  the  forced  consent 
of  the  nobles  and  officers  Khusrau  mounted  the  throne 
in  1320  under  the  title  of  Nasiruddin. 

Khusrau  began  what  the  Muslim  historians  call  a 
reign  of  terror.    He  seized  the  treasures  of  the  state,  and 


conferred  lavish  gifts  upon  the  people  at  large  to  win 
their  support.  Islam  was  treated  with  con- 
tempt,  and  the  old  nobles  and  officers  had  to 
make  room  for  Khusrau's  kinsmen.  The 
Alai  nobles  who  had  served  the  state  in  the  past  were 
filled  with  grief  at  this  deplorable  state  of  affairs.  There 
was  one  among  them  who  planned  the  overthrow  of 
Khusrau.  He  was  Fakhruddin  Juna,  who  afterwards 
ascended  the  throne  under  the  title  of  Muhammad  Tughluq 
He  communicated  everything  to  his  father  Ghazi  Malik, 
the  Warden  of  the  Marches  at  Depalpur.  The  veteran 
warrior  was  moved  with  indignation  and  swore  vengeance 
upon  the  *  unclean  '  Parwans.  He  was  joined  by  all  the 
nobles  of  the  empire  except  the  governor  of  Multan  who 
bore  a  personal  grudge  against  him. 

The  news  of  Ghazi  Malik's  approach  alarmed  Khusrau, 
and  he  began  to  organise  his  forces.  The  army  of  Delhi, 
demoralised  by  indolence  and  debauchery,  was  no  match 
for  the  sturdy  Muslims  who  followed  the  banner  of  Ghazi 
Malik.  Lack  of  experienced  generalship,  added  to  the 
want  of  discipline,  made  the  cause  of  Khusrau,  from  the 
outset,  hopeless.  When  the  two  armies  came  face  to  face, 
^ach  side  began  to  plan  dexterous  manoeuvres  to  over- 
power the  other.  The  rickety  forces  of  Khusrau  were 
routed,  and  fled  in  confusion.  The  cause  of  the  Parwarls 
was  doomed,  and  they  were  so  frightened  that  '  hardly 
any  life  was  left  in  their  bodies/ 

Having  seized  considerable  spoil,  the  victorious 
general  commenced  his  march  towards  Delhi  to  deal  a 
decisive  blow.  Driven  to  despair,  Khusrau  looked  for 
help  in  all  quarters.  Like  one  '  despised  by  fortune  or 
worsted  in  gambling/  he  brought  out  all  the  treasures  and 


distributed  them  among  the  soldiers  to  prevent  defection 
in  the  royal  army.  But  this  prodigality  proved  of  no 
avail ;  the  soldiers,  who  knew  that  Ghazi  Malik's  cause 
was  just  and  righteous,  accepted  Khusrau's  gold,  but 
abandoned  all  intention  of  fighting  under  his  colours. 
Once  more  the  usurper  made  a  desperate  effort  to  save 
himself,  and  the  forlorn  hope  of  the  Delhi  army  fought 
-a  hotly  contested  engagement,  in  which  they  carried 
everything  before  them.  Khusrau  fled  from  the  field  of 
battle,  but  he  was  captured  and  beheaded.  His  support- 
ers were  diligently  traced  out ;  they  were  charged  with 
treason  and  made  to  suffer  the  fate  which  they  so  richly 
merited.  Ghazi  Malik  received  the  congratulations  of  the 
assembled  nobles,  who  offered  him  the  keys  of  the  palace. 
The  old  leader  shrank  from  the  burden  of  the  kingly 
office,  and  enquired  if  there  was  any  survivor  of  the  stock 
of  Alauddin.  The  nobles  answered  in  the  negative  and 
dwelt  upon  the  confusion  and  disorder  that  prevailed  in 
the  empire  owing  to  the  abeyance  of  authority.  With 
one  voice  they  appealed  to  him  to  assume  the  insignia  of 
royalty  and  placed  him  upon  the  throne.  7fe  Rarani. 
who  is  an  orthodox  chronicler,  writes  with  exultation: 
"  Islam  was  rejuvenated  and  a  new  life  came  into  it.  The 
•clamour  of  infidelity  sank  to  the  ground.  Men's  minds 
were  satisfied  and  their  hearts  contented.  All  praise  for 
Allah."  The  election  of  a  plebeian  to  the  kingly  office 
demonstrated  in  an  unmistakable  manner  the  democratic 
spirit  of  Islam,  and  reaffirmed  the  principle  of  the  survival 
t>f  the  fittest,  which  dominated  and  controlled  the  Muslim 
State  in  India  in  the  13th  and  14th  centuries. 



(1320—1412  A.D.) 

Ghazi  Malik,  the  Warden  of  the  Marches,  ascended 

the  throne  under  the  title  of  Ghiyasuddin  Tughluq.    He 

was  a  man  of  humble  origin  ;  his  father  was. 

Ghiyasuddin     a  QaraunS  Turk, '  and  his  mother  was  a  Jat 

Tughluq.  1820-  -    A.      '  .   .        „      ,      , 

36  A.D.  woman  of  the  Punjab.    He  had  risen  to 

high  position  by  dint  of  personal  merit,  and 
in  the  time  of  Alauddin  had  played  an  important  part  in 
wars  against  the  Mongols  whom  he  had  chased  out  of  the 
country  again  and  again.  When  he  assumed  the  reins  of 
office,  the  empire  of  Delhi  was  in  a  state  of  confusion, 
and  it  was  with  great  tact,  prudence,  and  firmness  that 
Ghiyas  restored  order  and  recovered  the  moral  prestige 
of  the  monarchy.  The  magnanimity  of  his  nature  showed 
itself  in  the  generous  treatment  which  he  meted  out  ta 
the  relatives  of  Alauddin.  He  made  a  suitable  provision 
for  them  and  appointed  them  to  high  offices  in  the  state. 
No  just  claim  was  ignored  and  no  past  service  was  for* 
gotten.  The  claims  of  rank  and  birth  were  respected, 
and  many  families  that  had  been  ruined  were  restored  to 
their  former  dignity. 

1  Ibn  Batmta  writes  that  he  heard  from  Shaikh  Ruknuddin  Sultan* 
that  Sultan  Tughluq  was  of  the  stock  of  QaraunS  Turks  who  lived  in  the 
mountainous  region  between  Sindh  and  Turkistan.  In  his  early  life  he 
was  very  poor  and  was  obliged  to  take  up  service  under  some  merchant 
4n  Sindh.  Later  he  joined  the  army*  and  by  sheer  dint  of  merit  rose  ta 
high  position. 



Having  settled  the  affairs  of  the  empire,  Ghiyas  order- 
ed an  expedition  against  Warangal,  the  capital  of  the 
KSkatiya  Rajas  of  Telingana.    Pratap  Rudra 
Expedition      Deva  II  had  greatly  increased  his  power  dur- 

agamst  War-        .         _  .  ,  rr.  ....    _,,      - 

^ngai.  ing  the  reign  of  Mubarak  Khilji.  The  Crown 

Prince  was  sent  at  the  head  of  a  large  force 
to  deal  with  him.  After  a  desperate  fight  the  Raja  surren- 
dered, and  the  whole  country  was  subdued.  The  glory  and 
greatness  of  the  Kakatiyas  ended,  and  henceforward  they 
ceased  to  exist  as  a  predominant  power  in  Southern  India. 
The  administration  of  Ghiyas  was  based  upon  the 
principles  of  justice  and  moderation.  The  land  revenue 
was  organised,  and  the  Sultan  took  great  care 
to  Prevent  abuses.  The  jagirs  granted  by 
Khusrau  were  resumed,  and  the  finances  of 
the  state  were  set  in  order.  The  cultivators  were  treated 
well,  and  officials  were  severely  punished  for  their  mis- 
conduct. The  departments  of  justice  and  police  worked 
efficiently,  and  the  greatest  security  prevailed  in  the 
remotest  parts  of  the  empire.  The  army  was  also  organised. 
The  soldiers  were  treated  with  kindness  and  liberality. 
Strict  discipline  was  enforced,  and  arms  and  weapons  were 
amply  provided. 

Towards  the  close  of  his  reign,  in  1324,  the  Sultan 
marched  towards  Bengal  to  restore  to  the  throne  the 
Princes  of  Lakhnauti,  who  had  been  expelled 
GhiVas*  * h  °f      by their  brother  Bahadur.  Bahadur  was  pun- 
ished, and  the  dispossessed  princes  were  rein- 
stated in  their  territory.  When  the  Sultan  returned  to  Delhi, 
he  was  killed  by  the  fall  of  a  pavilion  which  his  son,  Prince 
Juna,  had  erected  near  Afghanpur  at  a  distance  of  six  miles 
from  the  capital  in  1325  A.D.    The  prince  was  suspected 


of  having  planned  the  emperor's  death,  for  the  hasty  con- 
struction of  such  a  palace  was  entirely  superfluous.  What- 
ever the  real  truth  may  be,  there  are  strong  reasons  for 
thinking  that  the  Sultan's  death  was  the  result  of  a  con- 
spiracy in  which  the  Crown  Prince  took  part,  and  not  of 

Ghiyas  was  a  mild  and  benevolent  ruler.  He  loved 
simplicity*  and  towards  his  quondam  colleagues,  he  be- 
haved with  the  same  frank  joviality  which 
hsd  characterised  him  in  his  earlier  days. 
A  pious  and  peace-loving  Muslim,  he  practis- 
ed rigidly  the  observances  of  his  faith,  and  always  tried  to 
promote  the  welfare  of  his  co-religionists.  Unlike  many 
other  Muslim  rulers  he  lived  a  pure  life  and  eschewed 
every  kind  of  pleasure.  As  long  as  he  lived  he  took  the 
best  care  of  his  subjects  and  ruled  with  a  strong  hand.  ,A 
new  life  was  infused  into  the  administration  which  had 
been  thrown  out  of  gear  during  the  reigns  of  the  imbecile 
Mubarak  and  the  '  unclean '  Khusrau.  The  following 
verse  of  Amir  Khusrau  is  illustrative  of  the  Sultan's 
excellent  methods  of  government  : 

'*  He  neyer  did  any  thing  that  was  not  replete  with  wisdom  and  sense, 
He  might  be  said  to  wear  a  hundred  doctor's  hoods  under  his  crown." 

Ghiyas-ud-din  Tughluq  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 
Prince  Juna,  under  the  title  of  Muhammad  Tughluq,  in 
1325  A.D.  He  was  unquestionably  the  ablest 
:>f  Muh&ww*.     man  amon* the  crowned  heads  of  the  middle 
ages.    Of  all  kings,  who  had  sat  upon  the 
throne  of  Delhi  since  the  Muslim  conquest,  he  was  undoubt- 
edly the  most  learned  and  accomplished.    Nature  had 
endowed  him  with  a  marvellous  memory,  a  keen  and  pene- 
trating intellect,  and  an  enormous  capacity  for  assimilating 




knowledge  of  all  kinds.  The  versatility  of  his  genius  took 
by  surprise  all  his  contemporaries.  A  lover  of  the  fine  arts* 
a  cultured  scholar  and  an  accomplished  poet,  he  was  equally 
at  home  in  logic,  astronomy,  mathematics,  philosophy,  and 
the  physical  sciences.  No  one  could  excel  him  in  composi- 
tion and  calligraphy  ;  he  had  at  his  command  a  good  deal  of 
Persian  poetry,  of  which  he  made  a  very  extensive  use  in 
his  writings  and  speeches.  He  was  an  adept  in  the  use  of 
similes  and  metaphors,  and  his  literary  productions  were 
saturated  with  the  influence  of  the  Persian  classics.  Even 
the  most  practised  rhetoricians  found  it  difficult  to  rival  the 
brilliance  of  his  imagination,  the  elegance  of  his  taste,  and 
his  command  over  the  subtleties  and  niceties  of  expression. 
He  was  a  master  of  dialectics,  well-versed  in  Aristotelian 
logic  and  philosophy,  and  theologians  and  rhetoricians 
feared  to  argue  with  him.  Barani  describes  him  as  an  elo- 
quent and  profoundly  learned  scholar,  a  veritable  wonder  of 
creation,  whose  abilities  would  have  taken  by  surprise  such 
men  as  Aristotle  and  Asaf . f  He  was  highly  generous,  and 
all  contemporary  writers  are  unanimous  in  extolling  his 
lavish  gifts  to  the  numerous  suppliants  who  crowded  his 
gate  at  all  times.  He  was  a  strict  Muslim  who  rigidly 
practised  and  enforced  the  observances  laid  down  in  the 
Holy  Book.  But  he  was  not  an  unrelenting  bigot  like  some 
of  his  predecessors. His  liberalism  is  reflected  in  his  desire 
to  be  tolerant  towardsjAie  Hindus  and  in  his  humane  attempt 
to  introduce  ameliorative  reforms  like  the  suppression  of 
Sati,  which  was  in  vogue  in  the  fourteenth  century. 

The  Moorish  traveller,  Tfrn  P0*"*5,  who  came  to  India 
in  1333  A.D.,  thus  describes  the  Sultan  :— "  Muhammad  is 

1  Barani,  Tarikh-i-Firua  Shahi,  Biblioth.  Ind.,  p.  461, 


a  man  who,  above  all  others,  is  fond  of  making  presents  and 
shedding  blood.  There  may  always  be  seen  at  his  gate 
some  poor  person  becoming  rich,  or  some  loving  one  con- 
demned to  death.  His  generous  and  brave  actions,  and  his 
cruel  and  violent  deeds,  have  obtained  notoriety  among  the 
people.  In  spite  of  this,  he  is  the  most  humble  of  men,  and 
the  one  who  exhibits  the  greatest  equity.  The  ceremonies 
of  his  religion  are  dear  to  his  heart,  and  he  is  very  severe 
in  respect  of  prayer  and  the  punishment  which  follows  its 
neglect.  He  is  one  of  those  kings  whose  good  fortune  is 
great  and  whose  happy  success  exceeds  the  ordinary  limit ; 
but  his  distinguishing  character  is  generosity.  I  shall 
mention  among  the  instances  of  his  liberality,  some  mar- 
vels, of  which  the  like  has  never  been  reported  of  any 
of  the  princes  who  have  preceded  him.  " 

'  the  Sultan  seems  to  be  an  amazing 
But  he  is  not  really  so.  The 
charges  of  blood-thirstiness  and  madness,  brought  against 
him  by  later  writers,  are  mostly  unfounded.  No  contem- 
porary writer  gives  the  barest  indication  of  the  Sultan's 
madness.  The  charge  of  blood-thirstiness  was  bolstered 
up  by  the  members  of  the  clerical  party  whom  the  Sultan 
treated  with  open  disregard.  It  is  true,  he  was,  like  all 
mediaeval  despots,  subject  to  greatjaroxysms  of  rage, 
and  inflicted  the  most  brutal  punishments  upon  those  who 
offended  against  his  will,  irrespective  of  the  rank  or  order 
to  which  they  belonged  ;  but  this  is  quite  a  different  thing 
from  stigmatising  him  as  a  born  tyrant,  taking  delight  in 
the  shedding  of  human  blood.  A  close  examination  of  the 
alleged  murders  and  atrocities  of  the  Sultan  will  reveal  the 
unsoundness  of  the  common  view  that  he  found  pleasure 
in  the  destruction  of  human  species  and  organised 


*  man-hunts.'  The  truth  is  that  the  Sultan  combined  a 
head-strong  temper  with  advanced  ideals  of  administra- 
tive reform,  and  when  his  subjects  failed  to  respond  to 
his  wishes,  his  wrath  became  terrible.  His  impatience 
was  the  result  of  popular  apathy,  just  as  popular  apathy 
was  the  outcome  of  his  startling  innovations. 

The  earliest  administrative  measure,  which  the  Sultan 
introduced,  was  the  enhancement  of  taxation  in  the  Doab, 

Barani  says  that  '  it  operated  to  the  ruin  of 
<foe"oab?n  in     the  country  and  the  decay  of  the  people/ 

while  another  historian,  who  is  more  cau- 
tious in  his  remarks,  says  that c  the  duties  levied  on  the 
necessaries  of  life,  realised  with  the  utmost  rigour,  were 
too  great  for  the  power  of  industry  to  cope  with/ 
The  taxes  in  the  Doab  were  raised,  according  to 
Barani,  out  of  all  proportion  to  the  income  of  the  people, 
and  some  oppressive  abwabs  (cesses)  were  also  invented 
Avhich  broke  the  back  of  the  ryot,  and  reduced  him  to 
utter  poverty  and  misery.  All  historians  dwell  upon  the 
•distress  which  was  caused  by  this  fiscal  measure,  and 
Barani,  whose  native  district,  Baran,  also  suffered  from 
the  effects  of  this  enhancement,  bitterly  inveighs  against 
the  Sultan.  He  greatly  exaggerates  the  suffering  and 
misery  caused  to  the  population,  when  he  says  the  ryots 
of  distant  lands,  on  hearing  of  the  distress  and  ruin  of 
the  people  in  the  Doab,  broke  out  into  open  rebellion,  and 
threw  off  their  allegiance.  Unfortunately,  this  measure 
was  carried  out  at  a  time  when  a  severe  famine  was  pre- 
vailing in  the  Doab,  and  the  distress  of  the  people  was 
-greatly  aggravated  by  its  disastrous  effects.  But  this  does 
not  exonerate  the  Sultan  altogether  from  blame ;  for  his 
officials  continued  to  levy  taxes  at  the  enhanced  rate  with 


the  utmost  rigour,  and  made  no  allowance  for  famine.  It 
was  long  afterwards,  that  he  ordered  wells  to  be  dug 
and  loans  to  be  advanced  to  agriculturists  to  promote 
cultivation  in  the  affected  areas.  The  remedy  came  too  late ; 
the  famished  population,  whose  patience  was  sorely  tried 
by  the  long  duration  of  the  famine,  failed  to  profit  by  it, 
andjraye  up  the  ghost  in  sheer  despair.  Never  were  be- 
nevolent schemes  of  reform  more  cruelly  frustrated  by 
an  evil  fate  than  in  the  case  of  Muhammad  Tughluq. 

Another  measure,  which  entailed  much  suffering  on 
the  population,  was  the  transfer  of  the  capital  to  Devagir 
Transfer  of  w^ich  was  re-christened  Daulatabad.  The* 
the  capita],  empire  had  grown  to  large  dimensions  fto- 
"2T  D*  wards  the  north  it  embraced  the  Doab,  the 
^plains  of  the  Punjab  and  Lahore  with  the  territories 
stretching  from  the  Indus  to  the  coast  of  Gujarat;  towards 
the  east  it  comprised  Bengal,  and  in  the  centre  it  included 
such  \  principalities  as  Malwa,  Ujjain,  Mahoba  and 
Dhar/)  The  Deccan  had  been  subdued,  and  its  prin- 
cipal powers  had  acknowledged  the  suzerainty  of  Delhi. 
Having  fully  weighed  in  his  mind  the  drawbacks  of  Delhi  *" 
as  an  imperial  capital,  he  decided  to  transfer  it  to 
Daulatabad  which  was  more  centrally  situated.  It  was 
situated  at  a  safe  distance  from  the  route  of  the  Mongols 
who  frequently  threatened  the  neighbourhood  of  Delhi 
and  made  life  and  property  insecure.  It  is  clear  that  the 
change  was  not  dictated  by  the  mere  caprice  of  a  whim- 
sical despot.  Obviously,  considerations  of  safety  and 

1     Barani    mentions  the  following   provinces  of  the   empire    at  the 
beginning  of  Muhammad's  reign  : — (1)    Delhi,  (2)  Gujarat,    (3)  Malwa, 
(4)    Devagir,    (5)    Telang,   (6)  Kampila,  (7)    Dhorsamundar,    (8)   Mabar, 
(9)    Tirhul,    (10)   Lakhnaubi,    (11)    SatgSon,    (12)    SonSrgSon. 
'        Barani,  Tarikh-i-Firuz  Shahi,  Biblioth.    Ind.,  p.  468. 


better  government  alone  urged  the  Sultan  to  take  such  a 
bold  step.  As  regards  his  possessions  in  Hindustan,  he 
hoped  to  exercise  control  over  them  with  the  aid  of  the 
simple  means  of  communication  which  existed  between 
the  north  and  south. l 

This  change  might  have  been  effected  without  causing 
much  hardship,  if  the  Sultan  had  remained  satisfied  onljr 
with  the  removal  of  the  official  machinery  of  the  state. 
But  he  made  an  egregious  blunder  in  ordering  the  people 
of  Delhi,  men,  women  and  children,  to  go  en  masse  to 
Daulatabad  with  all  their  effects.  All  sorts  of  facilities 
were  provided  ;  a  road  was  built  from  Delhi  to  Daulatabad 
and  food  and  accommodation  were  freely  supplied  to  the 
emigrants.  Those,  who  had  no  money  to  feed  themselves 
during  the  journey,  were  fed  at  the  expense  of  the  state, 
and  the  Sultan  was  ' '  bounteous  in  his  liberality  and  favours 
to  the  emigrants,  both  on  their  journey  and  on  their 
arrival."2  But  all  these  concessions  and  favours  proved  of 
no  avail.  The  people,  who  had  lived  in  Delhi  for  genera* 
tions,  and  to  whom  the  city  was  endeared  by  numerous 
associations,  left  it  with  broken  hearts.  The  sufferings 
attendant  upon  a  long  journey  of  700  miles,  were  incal- 
culable, and  a  great  many  of  them,  wearied  with  fatigue 
and  rendered  helpless  by  home-sickness,  perished  in  the 
way,  and  those  who  reached  their  journey's  end  found 
exile  in  a  strange,  unfamiliar  land  unbearable,  and 

1  Ibn    Batuta's  statement  that  the  people  of  Delhi  dropped   anony- 
mous   letters   full   of  abuse  into  the  king's  Diwan,  and   the   king  took 
so   much  offence  at    this    that   he  ordered  the  capital  to  be  changed,  is 
based   upon   hearsay,  for  when   the  transfer  took  place  in  1326-27  A.D.^ 
he  was  not  present  in  India. 

2  Barani,  Tarikh-i-Firuz  Shahi,  Biblioth.     Ind.,  p.  474. 

Elliot,  III,  p.  239. 


"  gave  up  the  ghost  in  despair/'  Barani  writes  that  the 
Muslims,  struck  with  despondency,  laid  down  their 
heads  in  that  heathen  land,  and  of  the  multitude  of  emi- 
grants only  a  few  survived  to  return  to  their  homes. l 

The  unwarranted  assumption  of  Ibn  Batuta  that  a 
search  was  instituted  in  Delhi  under  a  royal  mandate  to 
find  out  if  any  of  the  inhabitants  still  lurked  in  their 
houses,  and  that  it  resulted  in  the  discovery  of  two  men, 
one  lame  and  the  other  blind,  who  were  dragged  to 
Daulatabad,  is  based  upon  mere  bazar  gossip,  invented 
-afterwards  to  discredit  the  Sultan.  It  is  true,  the  Sultan's 
orders  were  carried  out  in  a  relentless  manner,  but  it  is  a 
calumny  to  assert  that  his  object  was  to  cause  needless 
suffering  to  the  population.  It  must  be  said  to  his  credit 
that,  when  he  saw  the  failure  of  his  scheme,  he  ordered 
the  inhabitants  to  go  back  to  Delhi,  and  on  the  return 
journey  treated  them  with  great  generosity  and  made 
full  amends  for  their  losses.  But  Delhi  was  a  depopulated 
<rity.  From  far  and  near,  the  Sultan  brought  learned 
men,  merchants,  and  landholders  to  take  up  their  abode 
in  the  deserted  capital  ;  but  no  inducement  proved  of  any 
avail  to  reconcile  them  to  the  changed  surroundings.  The 
old  prosperity  did  not  return,  and  Delhi  did  not  recover 
Tier  former  grandeur,  for  the  Moorish  traveller  found  it 
in  1334  A.D.  uninhabited  in  some  places  and  still  bearing 
the  marks  of  desolation. 

1   Barani,  Tarikh-i-Firuz    Shahi,    Biblioth.  Ind.,  p.  474. 

Elliot,  III,   p.  239 

Zia  Barani  writes  :  "So  complete  was  the  ruin,  that  not  a  cat 
-or  a  dog  was  left  among  the  buildings  of  the  city,  in  its  palaces  or  in 
its  suburbs."  A  statement  of  this  kind  made  by  an  oriental  writer  of 
the  middle  ages  is  not  to  be  taken  too  literally.  European  scholars, 
unaccustomed  to  Indian  forms  of  speech,  have  made  this  mistake. 
Dr.  Smith  uncritically  accepts  Ibn  Batuta's  story  related  above.  Oxford 
History  of  India,  p.  239. 


Daalatabad  remained.  aaLane-Poole  remarks,  a  monu- 
ment of  rnifl%P<»ted  gngrgy.    The  scheme  of  transfer 
failed  disastrously.   That  it  would  have,  in  the  event  of 
success,  enabled  the  Sultan  to  keep  a  firm  hold  upon  the 
different  parts  of  the  empire,  may  well  be  doubted.    He 
failed  to  see    that  Daulatabad  was  situated  at  a  lone 
distance  from  the  northern  frontiers  of  the  empire,  which 
needed    to    be  constantly  watched  with  vigilance.    He 
disregarded  the  warning,  which  experience  amply  fur- 
nished, that  Hindu  revolts  and  Mongol  inroads  might  at 
any  time  jeopardise  his  possessions  in  the  north.    If 
such  a   contingency  were  to  arise,   it  would  have  been 
an  extremely  difficult  task  for  the  Sultan,  pressed  by 
the  half-subdued  races  of  the  Deccfcn  and  the  nomad 
hordes  of  Central   Asia,   to  cope  with    the     forces  of 

Muhammad  Tughluq  has  rightly  been  called  the  prince 

of  moneyers.    One  of  the  earliest  acts  of  his  reign  was  to 

reform  the    entire  system    of    coinage,  to* 

The    token     determine  the  relative   value  of  the  pre- 

currency,  1830        „  _  ,    ^       -         ,          .  ... 

A.D.  cious    metals,  and  to  found    coins    which 

might  facilitate  exchange  and  form  con- 
venient circulating  media.  But  far  more  daring  and 
original  was  his  attempt  to  introduce  a  token  currency. 
Historians  have  tried  to  discover  the  motive  which  led  the 
Sultan  to  attempt  this  novel  experiment.  The  heavy  drain, 
upon  the  treasury  has  been  described  as  the  principal 
reason  which  led  to  the  issue  of  the  token  coins.  It  can- 
not be  denied  that  a  great  deficiency  had  been  caused  in 
the  treasury  by  the  prodigal  generosity  of  the  Sultan,  the 
huge  expenditure  that  had  to  be  incurred  upon  the  trans- 
fer of  the  capital,  and  the  expeditions  fitted  out  to  quell 


armed  rebellions.    But  there  were  other  reasons  which 
must  be  mentioned  in  giving  an  explanation    of    this 
measure.    The  taxation  policy  in  the  Doab  had  failed  ; 
and  the  famine  that  still  stalked  the  most  fertile  part  of 
the  kingdom,  with  the  consequent  decline  in  agriculture, 
must  have  brought  about  a  perceptible  fall  in  the  revenue 
of  the  state.    It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  the  Sultan  was 
faced  with  bankruptcy  ;  his  treasury  was  not  denuded  of 
specie,   for  he  subsequently  paid  genuine  coins  for  the 
new  ones,  and  managed  a  most  difficult  situation  with 
astonishing  success.    He  wished  to  increase  his  resources 
in  order  to  carry  into  effect  his  grand  plans  of  conquest 
and  administrative  reform,  which  appealed  so  powerfully 
to  his  ambitious  nature.    There  was  another  reason  :  the 
Sultan  was  a  man  of  genius  who  delighted  in  originality 
and  loved  experimentation.    With   the  examples  of  the 
-Chinese  and  Persian  rulers  before  him,  he  decided  to  try 
the  experiment  without  the  slightest  intention  of  defraud- 
ing or  cheating  bis  own  subjects,  as  is  borne  out  by  the 
legends  on  his  coins.     Copper  coins  were  introduced  and 
made  legal  tender;  but  the  state  failed  to  make  the 
issue  of  the  new  coins  a  monopoly  of    its  own.    The 
result  was  as  the  contemporary  chronicler  points  out  in 
right  orthodox  fashion,  that  the  house  of  every  Hindu— 
of  course  as  an  orthodox  Muslim  he  condones  the  offences 
of  his   co-religionists -was  turned  into  a  mint  and  the 
Hindus  of    the  various  provinces    manufactured  lakhs 
and  crores  of  coins.    Forgery  was  freely  practised  by 
the  Hindus  and  the  Muslims ;  and  the  people  paid  their 
taxes  in  the  new  coin  and  purchased  arms,  apparels,  and 
other    articles  of  luxury.    The  village    headmen,  mer- 
chants, and  landowners  suppressed  their  gold  and  silver, 


-and  forged  copper  coins  in  abundance,  and  paid  their  dues 
with  them.  The  result  of  this  was  that  the  state  lost  heavi- 
ly, while  private  individuals  made  enormous  profits.  The 
-state  was  constantly  defrauded,  for  it  was  impossible  to  dis- 
tinguish private  forgeries  from  coins  issued  by  the  royal 
mint.  Gold  and  silver  became  scarce ;  trade  came  to  a 
stand-still,  and  all  business  was  paralysed.  Great  confusion 
prevailed;  merchants  refused  to  accept  the  new  coins  which 
became  as  "valueless  as  pebbles  or  potsherds."  When  the 
Sultan  saw  the  failure  of  the  scheme,  he  repealed  his  former 
edict  and  allowed  the  people  to  exchange  gold  and  silver 
£oins  for  those  of  copper.  Thousands  of  men  brought  these 
<x>ins  to  the  treasury  and  demanded  gold  and  silver  coins  in 
return.  The  Sultan  who  meant  no  deception  was  defrauded 
by  his  own  people,  and  the  treasury  was  considerably 
-drained  by  these  demands.  All  token  coins  were  completely 
withdrawn,  and  the  silence  of  Ibn  Batuta  who  visited  Delhi 
only  three  years  later,  proves  that  no  disastrous  results 
ensued,  and  the  people  soon  forgot  the  token  currency. 

The  failure  of  the  scheme  was  inevitable  in  the  India 
of  the  fourteenth  century.  To  the  people  at  large  copper 
was  copper,  however  benevolent  the  intentions  of  the 
Sultan  might  be.  The  Sultan  who  pitched  his  expectations 
too  high  made  no  allowance  for  the  conservative  character 
of  the  people,  whose  acceptance  of  a  token  currency  even 
in  modern  times  is  more  in  the  nature  of  a  submission  to 
an  inevitable  evil  than  a  willingness  to  profit  by  the  use  of 
«  convenient  circulating  medium.  The  mint  was  not  a 
state  monopoly ;  qpd  the  Sultan  failed  to  provide  adequate 
safeguards  to  prevent  forgery.  Elphinstone's  statement 
that  the  failure  of  the  token  currency  was  due  to  the  king's 

Barani,  Tarikh-i-Firuz  Bhahi,  Biblioth.  lad.,  p.  486. 


insolvency  and  the  instability  of  his  government,  is  not 
justified  by  facts,  for  the  Sultan  withdrew  all  coins  at 
once,  and  his  credit  remained  unshaken.    Mr.  Gardner 
Brown  has  ascribed  this  currency  muddle  to  the  shortage 
in  the  world's  supply  of  silver  in  the  fourteenth  century. 
Soon  after  his  accession  Muhammad  Tughluq  introduced 
a  gold  dinar  of  200  grains  and  an  adali  or  a  silver  coin  of 
140  grains  in  place  of  the  gold   and  silver  tankas   which 
had  hitherto  been   in  use,  and  which  had  weighed  17& 
grains  each.    The  introduction  of  the  gold  dinar  and  the 
revival  of  the  adali  show  that  there  was  an  abundance  of 
gold  and  a  relative  scarcity  of  silver  in  the  country.    The 
prize  money  brought  by  Kafur  from  the  Deccan  consisted 
largely  of  jewelry  and  gold,  and  it  was  this  which  had 
brought  about  a  fall  in  the  value  of  gold.    The  scarcity  of 
silver  continued  even  after  the  death  of  Sultan   Muham- 
mad.   Only  three  silver  coins  of  Firuz  have  come  to  light, 
and  Edward  Thomas  mentions  only  two  pieces  of  Muham- 
mad bin  Firuz,  one  of  Mubarak  Shah,  one  of  Muhammad 
bin  Farid,  and  none  of  Alam  Shah  and  his  successors  of 
the  Lodi  dynasty,  and  it  is  not  until  the  middle  of  the  16th 
century  that  we  come  across  a  large  number  of  silver  coins,, 
issued  from  the  mints  of  Sher  Shah  Suriand  his  successors. 
Regarding  the  failure  of  this  scheme,  Edward  Thomas,  a 
numismatist  of  repute,  has  rightly  observed,  "  There  was 
no  special  machinery  to  mark  the  difference  of  the  fabric 
of  the  royal  mint  and  the  handiwork  of  the  moderately 
skilled  artisan.    Unlike  the  precautions  taken  to  prevent 
the  imitation  of  the-Chinese  paper  notes,  there  was  posi- 
tively no  check  upoq  the  authenticity  of  the  copper  token, 
and  no  limit  to  th^  power  of  production  by  the  masses  at 


Muhammad  Tughluq  adopted  a  policy  which  ran  coun- 
ter to  the  cherished  prejudices  of  the  orthodox  school.  He 
levied  many  taxes  in  addition  to  the  four  legal 
character  ^of  ones1  prescribed  by  the  Quran,  and  showed  8 
totion.dmini8"  £reater  re£ard  for  the  religious  susceptibili- 
ties of  the  Hindus  than  his  predecessors  had 
ever  done.  Unlike  his  weak-minded  cousin,  Firuz,  he  was  no 
unreasonable  bigot.  His  culture  had  widened  his  outlook, 
and  his  converse  with  philosophers  and  rationalists  had 
developed  in  him  a  spirit  of  tolerance  for  which  Akbar  is 
so  highly  praised.  He  employed  some  of  them  in  high 
positions  in  the  state, 2  and,  like  the  great  Akbar  after  him, 
tried  to  stop  the  horrible  practice  of  Sati.  The  independ- 
ent Rajput  states  were  left  unmolested  ;  for  the  Sultan 
knew  that  it  was  impossible  to  retain  » permanent  posses- 
sion of  such  strongholds  as  .Chittor  and  Ranthambhor— a 
policy  which  was  not  liked  by  the  clerical  party.  He  con- 
tinued Alauddin's  practice  of  appropriating  four-fifths  of 
the  share  of  plunder  to  himself,  leaving  the  rest  -to  the 
soldiers.  But  the  feelings  of  the  ulama  were  deeply  embit- 
tered, when  he  deprived  them  of  the  monopoly  of  the 
administration  of  justice.  His  love  of  justice  was  so  great 
that  he  personally  looked  into  the  details  of  the  judicial 
administration,  and  submissively  accepted  the  decrees  of 
the  courts  passed  against  himself. 

He  made  himself  the  Supreme  Court  of  Appeal,   and 
when  his  judgment  differed  from  that  of  tl^Muftis,  he 

1  The  four  legal  taxes   are    Khiraj, 

*    Ibn  Batuta  speaks  of  a  Hindu, 
Sultan's  service.    The  traveller  praises 
Paris  ed.,  Ill,  pp.  105-106. 


overruled  them  and  adhered  to  his  own  view.  To  curtail 
the  influence  of  the  orthodox  party,  he  invested  some  of 
the  distinguished  officers  of  the  state  with  judicial  powers 
in  spite  of  the  fact  that  they  were  not  Qazis,  Muftis,  or 
professed  canonists.  He  was  very  strict  in  administering 
justice.  He  laid  his  hapda  freely  npn^  the  jgembers  of 
the  Prigstlvclass  when  they  were  found  guilty  of  rebellion- 
open  sedition,  or  embezzlement  of  public  funds.  Neither 
birth  nor  rank,  nor  piety  availed  aught  to  afford  protec- 
tion to  an  offender  from  the  pun  ishment  which  his  guilt 
merited,  and  that  is  why  Ibn  Batuta  who  had  visited  many 
lands  and  seen  a  great  deal  of  men  and  affairs,  recorded  the 
verdict,  when  he  was  in  his  own  country,  no  longer  afraid 
of  the  Sultan's  wrath,  that  "of  all  men  this  king  is  the 
most  humble,  and  of  all  men  he  most  loves  justice." 

The  Sultan  organised  the  services  of  the  State  on  an 
efficient  basis.  As  there  was  a  dearth  of  capable  officers  in 
the  country,  he  employed  foreigners  in  his  service  and 
bestowed  rich  rewards  and  gifts  upon  them.  This  policy 
caused  discontent  among  the  native  nobility  and  led  to 
rebellions  in  the  empire.  The  Sultan's  generosity  knew  no 
.bounds.  He  maintained  several  departments,  two  of  which 
are  specially  worthy  of  mention— the  department  of  pre- 
sents which  regulated  the  giving  and  taking  of  presents 
and  the  Industrial  Department  which  managed  the  pre- 
paration of  costly  fabrics  for  the  use  of  the  royal  ladies 
and  the  wives  of  the  nobles. 

The  Sultan  like  his  great  predecessor  Alauddin  cherish- 
ed magnificent  schemes  of  foreign  conquest.    Early  in 
The  Sultan's    *^e  refen  he  was  induced  by  some  Khorasani 
schemes      of     nobles  who  had  sought  refuge  at  his  court  to 
conquest.  Attempt  an  invasion  of  their  country.    There 


was  nothing  fantastic  or  absurd  in  the  plan.  The  condition 
of  Khorasan  under  Abu  Said  had  become  highly  unsatis- 
factory. The  Chaghtai  chief  Tarmashirin  Khan  and  the 
ruler  of  Egypt  were  eager  to  grab  Persian  territory. 
Muhammad  who  had  established  friendly  relations  with 
the  ruler  of  Egypt  collected  a  large  army  containing 
570,000  men  who  were  paid  for  one  whole  year  from  the 
public  treasury.  But  the  scheme  did  not  materialise.  The 
task  was  beyond  the  strength  of  the  armies  of  Delhi  at 
this  period.  It  was  an  act  of  wisdom  on  the  part  of 
Muhammad  Tughluq  to  abandon  the  scheme  and  to 
concentrate  his  attention  upon  India 

Another  project  which  has  brought  much  odium  upon 
the  Sultan  was  the  so-called  Chinese  expedition.  All 
modern  writers  on  Indian  history,  following  the  lead  of 
Firishta,  have  made  the  mistake  of  supposing  that  the 
expedition  was  aimed  against  China.  But  the  contempo- 
rary chronicler,  Barani,  says  that  the  design  of  Sultan 
was  to  conquer  the  mountain  of  Qarachal  or  Qarajal  which 
lies  between  the  territories  of  Hind  and  China.  Ibn  Batuta 
states  clearly  that  the  expedition  was  directed  against 
the  QarSjal  mountain,  which  is  situated  at  a  distance 
of  ten  stages  from  Delhi,  This  shows  that  the  mountain 
meant  was  Himachal  (the  Himalayas),  which  constitutes 
-an  impassable  barrier  between  China  and  India.  The 
expedition  was  obviously  directed  against  a  refractory  hill 

1  Briggs,  Piriahta,  I,  p.  416. 

Blphinstone,  Historry  of  India,  p.  396. 

Firishta  writes:  "  Having  heard  of  the  great  wealth  of  China, 
Muhammad  Tughluq  conceived  the  idea  of  subduing  that  empire;  but 
in  order  to  accomplish  his  design  it  was  found  necessary  first  to  conquer 
-the  country  of  Him&chal."  He  further  says  that  the  nobles  and  coun- 
cillors of  the  king  tried  to  convince  him  of  the  futility  of  the  scheme, 
but  failed  to  do  so.  B  a  rani's  testimony  is,  of  course,  more  reliable.  Ibn 
BatOta  supports  Barani. 


chieftain  who  had  refused  to  own  the  suzerainty  of  Delhi. 
The  first  attack  of  the  imperialists  was  a  success,  but  when 
the  rainy  season  set  in,  the  troops  became  demoralised, 
and  it  became  impossible  to  obtain  supplies  from  the 
headquarters.  The  troops  suffered  heavily,  and  the  entire 
baggage  of  the  army  was  plundered  by  the  wily  mountain- 
eers. Only  ten  horsemen  returned  to  tell  the  story  of 
this  terrible  disaster.  But  the  object  of  the  expedition 
was  realised ;  the  mountain  prince  made  peace  with  the 
Sultan  and  agreed  to  pay  tribute,  for  it  was  impossible 
for  him  to  cultivate  the  low  lands  at  the  foot  of  the  hills 
without  acknowledging  the  authority  of  the  ruler  of 
Delhi,  of  whose  kingdom  they  formed  a  part. 

From  the  year  1835  there  was  a  perceptible  decline  in 
the  fortunes  of  Muhammad  Tughluq.  It  was  due  partly  to 

his  harsh  policy  in  the  latter  years  of  his  life, 

The  disorders     and  partly  to  famine,  which  continued  for 

Ahwn  Shah's     several  years  and  produced  enormous  suffer- 

revolt.  ing  in  all  parts  of  Hindustan.    When  public 

revenue,  the  principal  mainstay  of  the 
administration,  decreased,  rebellions  broke  out  in  all  parts 
of  the  empire.  The  earliest  rebellion  of  importance  was. 
that  of  Jalal-ud-din  Ahsan  Shah  in  Mabar,  which  occurred 
in  1385  A.D.1  Although  Delhi  was  in  a  deplorable  condition, 
owing  to  the  famine  and  lawlessness  prevailing  in  its 
vicinity,  the  Sultan  marched  in  person  to  chastise  the 
rebel ;  but  when  he  reached  Telingana,  cholera  broke  out 
and  carried  off  a  large  number  of  men  belonging  to  the 

1  The  date  1388-39  given  by  Smith  on  page  242  in  his  Oxford  History 
of  India  is  incorrect. 

Ahsan  Shah  rebelled  in  1335  A.D  He  began  to  issue  his  coins  as 
an  independent  ruler  in  this  year.  Dr.  Hultzsch  who  has  examined  these 
coins  with  care  assigns  this  rebellion  to  1335  A.D. 

J.  R.  A.  8.,    1909,  pp.    667— 83. 


king's  retinue.  The  expedition  against  Ahsan  Shah  was 
abandoned  under  the  pressure  of  unforeseen  troubles, 
and  he  was  allowed  to  become  independent. 

Bengal  had  never  been  a  loyal  appanage  of  the  empire 
of  Delhi  since  the  days  of  Muhammad,  son  of  Bakhtiyar. 
Fakhr-ud-din,  the  armour-bearer  of  Qadr 
Khan> the  governor  of  Lakhnauti,  slew  his 
master  and  usurped  his  territories  in  737-38 
A.H.  (1337  A.D.).  Taking  advantage  of  the  state  of  con- 
fusion into  which  the  affairs  of  the  kingdom  of  Delhi  had 
fallen,  he  proclaimed  himself  independent  ruler  of  Bengal 
and  struck  coins  in  his  own  name.  The  Sultan,  who  was 
busily  occupied  with  greater  troubles  in  other  parts  of  his 
wide  dominions,  could  not  pay  attention  to  this  upstart 
rebel.  As  there  was  no  interference  from  him,  Fakhr-ud- 
din  successfully  overcame  the  local  opposition  to  his 
assumption  of  royal  power.  He  soon  brought  the  whole 
country  under  his  control  and  governed  it  with  ability 
and  vigour. 

The  rebellion  in  Bengal  was  followed  by  others  of  less 

importance,  but  they  were  speedily  put  down.    The  most 

important  rebellion,  however,  was  that  of 

Revolt      of      Ain-ul-mulk,  the  governor  of  Oudh  andZafra- 

Ain-nl-mulk,  1-1.11  ±.  •      j_i_  10^  *<* 

1340-41  A.D.  bad,  which  broke  out  m  the  year  1340-41. 
Ain-ul-mulk  was  a  distinguished  nobleman 
who  had  rendered  great  services  to  the  state,  and  who 
was  held  in  high  favour  at  court.  When  the  Sultan  remov- 
ed his  court  to  Saragdwari  in  the  Farrukhabad  district 
on  account  of  famine,  Ain-ul-mulk  and  his  brothers  ren- 
dered great  assistance  in  mitigating  its  severity.  Asingular 
lack  of  foresight  on  the  part  of  the  Sultan  drove  the 
Joyal  governor  into  rebellion.  Having  heard  of  the 


misconduct  of  certain  Deccan  officers,  the  Sultan  decided 
to  appoint  Ain-ul-mulk  governor  of  that  country,  and 
ordered  him  to  go  there  with  his  family  and  dependents. 
This  peremptory  order  of  transfer  took  the  Malik 
by  surprise.  His  ears  were  poisoned  by  those  persons 
who  had  sought  shelter  in  Oudh  and  Zafrabad  to  escape 
from  the  wrath  of  the  Sultan.  All  of  a  sudden, 
Ain-ul-mulk,  who  suspected  danger,  revolted,  and 
with  his  brothers  seized  the  entire  royal  baggage  which 
was  in  his  charge.  The  Sultan  was  at  first  dumbfounded 
at  the  news  of  this  revolt,  but  he  at  once  devised  measures 
to  strengthen  his  forces.  He  paid  special  attention  to  the 
morale  of  the  army,  and  himself  superintended  the  opera- 
tions. After  a  prolonged  and  stubborn  fight,  Ain-ul-mulk 
was  defeated  and  brought  as  a  prisoner  to  the  royal  camp. 
His  associates  were  cruelly  put  to  death,  but  he  was  par- 
doned in  recognition  of  his  past  services  and  appointed 
superintendent  of  the  royal  gardens. 

Destiny  allowed  no  respite  to  this   unlucky  monarch, 

and  no  sooner  did  he  quell  disturbances  in  one  quarter 

Suppression      *kan  trou")les  of  greater  magnitude  broke 

of  brigandage      out  in  another.    This  evil  was  the  greatest 

in  Bindh.  in  gindlu    The  Sultan  marched  thither  With 

his  forces  and  scattered  the  ruffians.  Their  leaders  were 
captured  and  forced  to  embrace  Islam.  By  the  end  of  the 
year  1342  A.D.,  order  was  established  in  Hindustan,  but 
disorders  of  greater  magnitude  soon  afterwards  broke 
out  in  the  Deccan.  They  assumed  formidable  dimensions, 
and  the  Sultan  found  himself  powerless  to  stamp  out  sedi- 
tion and  overcome  resistance  to  his  own  authority. 

The  Deccan  was  a  hot-bed  of  intrigue  and  seditious 
conspiracy.    In  the  early  part  of  the  reign,  the  Sultan  had 


effectively  brought  under  his  sway  such  distant  provinces 
as Mabar,  Warangal  and  DvSrsamudra,  and 
his  empire  embraced  practically  the  whole 
of  the  Deccan.    But  Mftbar  became  an  independent  princi- 
pality^jij  1335,  and  in  1336  Hari  Kara  and  his  brother 
Bukka  founded  the  kingdom  of  Vijayanagar  as  a  protest 
against  the  Muslim  power,  of  which  a  full  account  will  be 
given  later.    In  1344  Kanya  N§ik  or  Krigna  Nayak,  son  of 
Pratap  Rudra  Deva  Kskatiya,  organised  a  confederacy  of 
the  Hindus  of  the  south.    The  great  Deccan  revolt  began, 
and  through  the  efforts  of  Ballala  IV,   Hari  Kara  and 
Krisna  Nayak,   followed  by  many  lesser  leaders,  it  finally 
culminated    in  the  disappearance  of  Muslim  power  in 
Warangal,   Dvarsamudra  and    the    country    along    the 
Coromandel  coast.    The  fall  of  the  Hoysalas  in  1346  A.D* 
enabled  Hari  Hara  to  place  his  power  upon  a  firm  footing, 
and  henceforward  Vijayanagar  became  a  leading  state 
in  the  south  and  a  bulwark  against  the  Muslim  invasions 
from  the  north. 

Gujarat  and  Devagir  alone  were  left  in  the  hands  of 
Muhammad  Tughluq.  His  many  failures  had  soured  hia 
temper,  and  he  had  lost  that  quality  of  human  sympathy 
without  which  no  conciliation  of  hostile  people  is  possible. 
He  removed  QutlughKhan, theveterangovernorof  Devagir, 
from  his  office,  and  appointed  his  brother  in  his  place— an 
arrangement  which  caused  much  discontent  in  the  country. 
The  revenue  declined,  and  the  officers  of  the  state  began 
to  extort  money  for  themselves  from  the  hapless  ryots. 
The  recall  of  Qutlugh  Khan  was  followed  by  a  fresh  blunder 
in  the  massacre  of  the  foreign  Amirs  by  the  foolish  vintner's 
son,  Aziz  Khummar,  who  had  been  entrusted  with  the 
fiefs  of  Malwaj  and  Dhar.  The  crime  of  Aziz  produced 


a  feeling  of  consternation  among  the  Amirs  and  they  took 
dp  arms  in  self-defence.  Disorder  rapidly  spread  in  the 
Dec  can,  and  the  troops  became  mutinous  everywhere.  The 
Sultan  proceeded  in  person  to  suppress  the  rebellion  in 
Gujarat,  and  from  Broach  he  sent  a  message  to  Nizam-ud- 
din  Alim-ul-mulk,  brother  of  Qutlugh  Khan,  the  new  gover- 
nor of  Daulatabad,  asking  him  to  send  the  foreign  Amirs 
immediately  to  the  royal  camp.  The  Amirs  of  Raichur, 
Mudgal,  Gulbarga,  Bidar,  Bijapur,  Berar  and  other  places 
obeyed  the  royal  command  and  started  for  Gujarat,  but  on 
the  way  a  sudden  panic  seized  them,  and  they  entertained 
the  suspicion  that  the  Sultan  intended  to  take  their  lives. 
They  attacked  the  royal  escort,  killed  some  of  the  men  in  a 
skirmish  that  followed,  and  returned  to  Daulatabad  where 
they  seized  Nizam-ud-din  and  made  him  prisoner.  The 
fort  of  Daulatabad  fell  into  their  hands ;  they  seized  the 
royal  treasure,  divided  the  Mahratta  country  amongstthem- 
selves,  and  elected  one  of  their  leaders,  Malik  Ismail  Makh 
Afghan,  as  their  king.  When  the  Sultan  received  intelli- 
gence of  these  developments,  he  marched  towards  Daulata- 
bad and  defeated  the  rebels  in  an  open  engagement.  Malik 
Makh  Afghan  entrenched  himself  in  the  fort  of  Devagir, 
and  Hasan  Kangu,  another  Afghan  leader,  with  his 
followers  went  away  in  the  direction  of  Gulbarga.  The 
Sultan  laid  siege  to  Daulatabad  and  sent  his  general  Imad- 
ul-mulk  Sartez  in  pursuit  of  the  rebels.  Daulatabad  was 
recovered ;  but  soon  afterwards  the  Sultan  had  to  leave 
the  place  on  account  of  the  rebellion  of  Taghi  in  Gujarat. 
As  soon  as  the  Sultan's  back  was  turned,  the  foreign 
Amirs,  once  again,  made  a  vigorous  effort  to  recover 
their  lost  power.  They  besieged  the  fort  of  Devagir  and 
baffled  the  attempts  of  the  imperialists  to  recapture  it. 


'The  imperial  general  Imad-ul-mulk  was  defeated  in  an 
.action  by  Hasan,  and  the  rebels  occupied  Daulatabad. 
Ismail  Makh  whom  they  had  chosen  as  their  king 
"voluntarily  aud  gladly  "  resigned  in  favour  of  Hasan,  a 
young  and  high-spirited  warrior,  who  had  taken  a 
prominent  part  in  these  campaigns.  Hasan  assumed 
sovereignty  under  the  title  of  Alauddin  wad-din  Abul- 
MuzaffarBahman  Shah  on  August  13,  1347  A  J).  Thus  was 
founded  the  famous  Bahmani  kingdom,  of  which  a  full 
account  will  be  given  in  another  chapter. 

Hearing  of  the  rebellion  of  Taghi,   the   Sultan  left 
Devagir  for  Gujarat.    It  was  a  mistake  on  his  part  to 

resolve  to  put  down  the  traitor  Taghi  before 
theh8uditanh  °f  dealing  effectively  with  the  foreign  Amirs. 

He  pursued  the  rebel  from  place  to  place, 
but  the  latter  succeeded  in  eluding  his  grasp.  He  subdued 
the  Rai  of  Karnal  and  brought  the  entire  coast  under  his 
sway.  From  there  he  proceeded  to  Gondal  where  he  fell 
ill  and  was  obliged  to  halt  for  some  time.  Having  collected 
a  large  force  he  marched  towards  Thatta,  but  when  he  was 
about  three  or  four  days'  march  from  that  place,  he  got 
fever  and  died  on  March  20,  1351  A.D. 

Such  was  the  end  of  this  unlucky  monarch.    All  his 
life,  he  battled  against  difficulties  and   never  abandoned 

his  task  in  despair.  It  is  true,  he  failed, 
Mohammad.  °f  but  his  failure  was  largely  due  to  rirftiim- 

Stance&over  which  he  had  little  or  no  control. 
A  severe  famine  which  lasted  for  more  than  a  decade 
marred  the  glory  of  his  reign  and  set  his  subjects  against 
him.  The  verdict  that  declares  him  a  cruel  and  blood- 
thirsty tyrant  like  Nam  oy  f!a]jynifl  dn*q  little  justice  to 
his  great  genius,  and  ignores  his  conspicuous  plans  to  cope 


with  famine  and  his  efforts  to  introduce  ameliorative  re- 
forms. There  is  ample  evidence  in  the  pages  of  Barani 
and  Ibn  BatutS  to  show  that  he  was  not  fond  of  shedding 
blood  for  its  own  sake,  and  that  he  could  be  kind,  generous 
and  just  even  towards  his  enemies.  He  possessed  an 
intellect  and  a  passion  for  practical  improvement,  which 
we  rMely^fe^lP  mediaeval  rulers.  But  his  task  was  an 
extremely  onferous  one.  He  had  to  deal  with  the  problems 
of  an  ever-growing  empire  with  a  staff  of  officers  who 
never  loyally  co-operated  with  him.  He  had  also  to  reckon 
with  the  orthodox  Ulama  who  clamoured  for  privilege  and 
who  resented  his  attempt  to  enforce  justice  and  equality 
r  among  his  subjects. 

All  modern  writers  repeat  the  charge  of  madness 
against  the  Sultan,  but  neither  in  the  pages  of  Ibn  Batuta 
nor  in  the  history  of  Barani  there  is  any  mention  of  it. 
The  charge  of  bloodthirstiness  is  equally  untenable.  The 
Sultan  was  no  monster  of  iniquity  who  loved  crime  for 
its  own  sake.  He  inflicted  severe  punishments  on  the 
wrongdoers,  but  punishments  were  always  severe  in  his 
day  both  in  Europe  and  Asia.  There  is  little  point  then 
in  the  denunciations  of  European  writers,  who  are 
always  severe  in  judging  the  actions  of  oriental  statesmen 
and  rulers.  In  pronouncing  a  verdict  on  Muhammad 
we  must  bear  his  difficulties  in  mind. 

A  most  interesting  source  of  information  regarding  the 

reign  of  Muhammad  Tughluq  is  the  account  of  his  travels 

given  by  the  Moorish  traveller,  Ibn  Batuta. 

Ibn  Batuta.  *  _ 

Abu-Abdulla  Muhammad,  commonly  known 
as  Ibn  Batuta,  was  born  at  Tangier  on  the  24th  February, 
1304  A.D.  He  had  an  inborn  liking  for  travel,  and  as  soon 
as  he  grew  to  manhood,  he  made  up  his  mind  to  fulfil  his. 


heart's  desire.  At  the  early  age  of  21,  he  started  on  his 
journey,  and  after  wandering  through  the  countries  of 
Africa  and  Asia,  he  came  to  India  through  the  passes  of  the 
Hindukush.  He  reached  the  Indus  on  the  12th  September, 
1383  A.D.;  thence  he  proceeded  to  Delhi,  where  he  was. 
hospitably  received.  He  was  appointed  Qazi  of  Delhi  by 
Muhammad  Tughluq  and  admitted  to  his  court,  where 
he  had  close  opportunities  of  acquainting  himself  with 
the  habits,  character,  and  acts  of  this  most  extraordinary 
monarch.  He  lived  in  India  for  eight  years  and  left 
the  service  of  the  Sultan  in  1342  A.D.  He  throws 
much  light  on  the  customs  and  manners  of  both  Hindus 
and  Muslims  in  those  days  and  supplements  Zia  Barani 
in  many  respects.  He  was  sent  on  an  embassy  to 
China  on  a  diplomatic  mission  by  Muhammad  Tughluq,  but 
he  was  prevented  by  unforeseen  circumstances  from 
fulfilling  it  He  returned  to  his  native  land  in  1349 
and  recorded  his  experiences.  He  died  at  the  age  of  73  in 
1377-78  A.D. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  about  the  general  veracity  of 
Ibn  Batuta,  for  his  statements  are  very  often  corroborated 
by  other  historians.  He  describes  the  gifts  and 
punishments,  the  kindnesses  and  severities  of  his  patron 
with  considerable  impartiality.  His  view  of  the  Sultan's 
character  is  corroborated  by  Zia  Barani  who  is  more 
fulsome  in  his  adulations  and  less  balanced  in  his  denun- 
ciations. The  character  of  Ibn  Batuta,  as  it  is  reflected  in 
the  pages  of  his  narrative,  is  profoundly  interesting. 
Full  of  freshness,  life,  daring,  a  kind  of  superstitious, 
piety,  and  easy  confidence,  Ibn  Batuta  is  a  man  of  extra- 
vagant habits,  prone  to  fall  into  pecuniary  difficulties,  out 
of  which  he  is  more  than  once  extricated  by  his  indulgent 


patron,  tp  whom  he  clung  like  a  veritable  horse-leech,   as 
long  as  he  lived  in  India. 

The  death  of  Muhammad  Tughluq  near  Thatta  plung- 

ed the  entire  royal  camp  into  confusion,  and  a  feeling  of 

despair  seized  the  leaders  of  the  army  as 

The  accession     well  as  the  rank  and    file.     The  Mongol 

ofFiruz  .  ,,-,  .,.,1 

"Tughiuq.  mercenaries  who  had  come  to  assist  in  the 

expedition  against  Taghi  began  to  plunder 
the  royal  camp,  and  the  army  found  it  difficult  to  retreat 
in  safety  towards  the  capital.  The  situation  was  further 
aggravated  by  the  fact  that  Muhammafl  had  left  no 
male  heir,  and  it  was  apprehended  by  the  nobles  that 
disastrous  consequences  might  follow,  if  they  did  not  at 
once  proceed  to  choose  a  successor.  Barani  who  was  an 
eye-witness  of  these  events  writes  that  the  late  Sultan 
Finis  aa  his  heir-apparent,  a  statement 

which  is  corroborated,  by  another  contemporary  writer, 
Shams-i-Sirai  Afif.  According  to  this  testament  of  the 
late  Sultan  they  offered  the  crown  to  Firuz  and  appealed 
to  him  to  save  the  families  of  the  generals  and  soldiers 
from  the  Mongols  by  accepting  it.  Piruz,  who  was  utterly 
devoid  of  ambition  and  who  wished  to  lead  the  life  of  a 
religious  recluse  at  first  demurred  to  the  proposal,  and 
said  that  he  contemplated  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca.  But 
the  pressure  of  the  nobles  became  irresistible,  and  at 
last  he  had  to  concede  to  their  wishes  in  the  interests  of 
the  state.  Firuz  's  acceptance  of  the  crown  had  a  calm- 
ing effect  on  the  army,  and  order  was  quickly  restored. 
But  in  Delhi  the  Khwaja  Jahan's  attempt  to  set  up  a 
supposititious  son  of  Muhammad  had  created  a  serious 
situation.  The  Khwajs  cannot  be  charged  with  treason,  for 
&e  had  done  so  in  public  interestlon  receiving  the  news  of 


the  disappearance  of  Firuz  and  Tatar  Khan,  the  principal 
leaders  of  the  imperial  army,  from  the  field  of  battle. 
Firuz  enquired  of  the  nobles  and  officers  of  the  state  if 
the  late  Sultan  had  left  a  son,  and  received  a  reply  in  the 
negative  The  Khwaja  repented  of  his  conduct,  and  with 
every  mark  of  abject  submission  appeared  before  Firuz 
to  implore  forgiveness.  The  latter  was  inclined  to  take  a 
lenient  view  of  his  offence  on  the  score  of  his  past  services, 
but  the  nobles  refused  to  condone  what  they  described  as 
"  unpardonable  treason/'  The  Khwaja  was  asked  to  go 
to  the  fief  of  Samana,  but  on  his  way  he  was  murdered. 
Thus  did  the  weak  and  irresolute  Firuz  acquiesce  in  the 
murder  of  a  trusted  friend  and  colleague,  of  whose  guilt- 
lessness he  was  probably  fully  convinced. 

Firuz  Tughluq  mounted  the  throne  on  the  24th  March, 
1351  A.D.,  with  little  ambition  and  less  fitness  for  that 
Jiigh  position.  lrhe  contemporary  Muslim 
F^racter  of  chroniclers  liave  bestowed  lavish  praise 
upon  him,  for  his  reign  marked  the  begin- 
ning of  that  religious  reaction,  which  became  a  prominent 
feature  of  his  administrative  policy.  Barani  writes  that 
since  the  days  of  Muiz-ud-din  Muhammad  bin  Sam, 
there  was  no  ruler  of  Delhi,  so  numoie,  merciful,  truth- 
loving,  faithful  ana  pious.  Shams'i-fciiraj  Afif  pronounces 
upon  him  a  fulsome  eulogy,  and  extols  his  virtues  in  terms 
of  hyperbolical  praise.  He  was  a  bigot  who  observed  the 
Holy  Law  with  great  strictness,  and  on  the  occasion 
of^reiigious  festivals  behavedlike  a  pious  Muslim.  He 
encouraged  his  '  infidel '  subjects  to  embrace  Islam  and 
exempted  the  converts  from  the  payment  of  the  jeziya, 
The  Brahmans  were  taxed,  and  their  protests  were  con- 
temptuously disregarded.  All  decorations  in  the  royal 


palace  were  forbidden.  The  Sultan  himself  used  earthen 
vessels  instead  of  plates  of  gold  and  silver  for  dining 
purposes.  But  his  vaunted  devotion  to  the  Quran  did 
not  prevent  him  from  seeking  the  gratification  of  his 
lower  appetites.  On  one  occasion,  in  the  midst  of  a 
campaign,  when  Tatar  Khan  paid  him  a  visit,  he  saw  him 
lying  half  naked  with  wine  cups  concealed  in  his  bed.  The 
Khan  reproached  him  for  this  depravity,  and  the  Sultan 
promised  to  observe  abstinence  as  long  as  Tatar  Khan 
was  with  the  army.  But  the  weakness  of  will  soon  assert- 
ed itself,  and  the  Khan  was  transferred  to  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Hisar  Firuza. 

Though  riffidlv  ortftQfiny.  Firuz  was  generous^  and 
humane.  He  behaved  towards  his  co-religionists  with 
great  generosity  and  liberally  helped  the  poor  and  the  un- 
employed. tiisldndness  is  reflected  in  his  reform  of  the  legal 
system.  He  abolished  torture,  simplified  the  legal  proce- 
dure, and  discouraged  espionage.  He  extended  his  patron- 
age to  learned  men  and  established  schools  and  colleges  for 
theological  instruction.  Several  measures  were  devised  by 

him    tO    promote  the  welfflrft  nf  his 

the  chief  of  which  were  the  facilities  of  irrigatiop  and  a 
hospital  at  Delhi  where  medical  aid  was  given  free  of  cost. 

Firuz  is  well  known  in  history  for  his  administrative 
reform,  but  he  had  nothing  of  the  ability,  intrepidity,  and 
vigour  of  Alauddin  Khilji  or  Muhammad  Tughluq..  He  walT 
aTweak-mindefl  map  who  listened  too  much  to  the  advice 
-of  muftis  and  maul  vis.  The  results  of  this  policy  were 
seen  after  a  generation  in  the  complete  disintegration  of 
the  Sultanate  of  Delhi. 

During  the  confusion  that  followed  the  death  of 
-Muhammad  Tughluq,  Bengal  completely  separated  itself 


from   Delhi,    and  Haji    Ilyas    proclaimed   himself    an 
independent  ruler  under  the  title  of  Shams- 
The  first  ex-      ud-din.     The    Sultan    marched     towards 
KSSTiast      Ben»al  at  the  head  of  a  large  army,    and 
$4  A.D'  on  reaching  there  issued  a  proclamation  to 

his  Bengali  subjects,  in  which  he  explained 
the  wrongs  of  Haji  Ilyas  and  his  own  desire  to  do  justice 
to  the  people  and  to  govern  the  country  well. 

When  Haji  Ilyas  heard  of  his  approach  he  entrenched 
himself  in  the  fort  of  Iqdala.  To  induce  him  to  leave  the 
fortress  Firuz  had  recourse  to  a  clever  strategical  move  ;  he 
retraced  his  steps  a  few  miles  backwards  in  the  hope  that 
the  enemy  would  come  out  of  the  fort  in  order  to  harass 
the  retreating  army.  The  expected  happened,  and  Shams- 
ud-din  followed  the  royal  army  at  the  head  of  a  consider- 
able force  consisting  of  10,000  horse  and  20,000  foot, 
-all  eager  to  fight  against  the  Delhwis.  The  Sultan  arrang- 
ed his  troops  in  battle  array  according  to  the  time-honour- 
ed practice  of  mediaeval  warfare  in  three  divisions  -the 
right,  left,  and  centre,  and 

organising  the  campaign*  A  terrible  battle  ensued  in  which 
the  protagonists  on  either  side  fought  with  great  valour 
•and  determination.  When  Shams-ud-din  saw  the  day  going 
against  him,  he  fled  from  the  field  of  battle  and  took  shel- 
ter again  in  the  fort  of  IqdalS.  The  royalists  followed  up 
their  success  and  invested  the  fort  in  full  vigour.  But  the 
shrieks  and  wails  of  women  who  pathetically  demonstrated 
their  grief,  moved  the  compassionate  heart  of  the  Sultan, 
.and  he  forthwith  decided  to  abandon  the  fruits  of  a  hard- 
This  is  how  the  official  historian  of  the 
incapacity  to  deal  with  a  difficult 

situation  :  '  To  storm  the  fort,  put  more  Musalmans  to  the 


sword,  and  expose  honourable  women  to  ignominy,  would! 
be  a  crime  for  which  he  could  not  answer  on  the  day  of 
judgment,  and  which  would  leave  no  difference  between, 
him  and  the  Mughals.'  Tatar  Khan,  the  imperial  com- 
mandant, urged  the  annexation  of  the  province,  but  with 
his  characteristic  weakness  Firuz  rejected  his  advice  on 
tjie  plea  that  Bengal  was  a  land  of  swamps,  andjhat  it 
jwas  not  worth  while^to  retain  possession^ it 

On    his    returrT  f rom   Bengal   the   Sultan   devoted 
himself  with  great  energy  and  vigour  to  the  organisation 

of  his  administration.    But  a  second  expe- 

The  d8*t°nd     dition  to  Bengal   became  necessary,  when 

1359^60  A.D.  '     Zafar  Khan,  the  son-in-law  of  Fakhr«ud-din, 

the  first  independent  ruler  of  Bengal,  com- 
plained of  the  high-handedness  of  Shams-ud-din  and 
begged  the  Sultan  to  intercede  on  his  behalf.  Zafar  Khan 
was  well  received  at  the  court,  and  his  heart  was  elated 
with  joy  when  the  Sultan  ordered  the  Khan-i-  Jahan  to 
make  preparations  for  a  second  expedition  to  Bengal. 
Popular  enthusiasm  rose  to  such  a  high  pitch  thatjiumerous 
vnfaptftftrg  enrolled  themselves  in  the  armv  which  consist- 
ed of  70.000  Tinrae.  innumerable  Jbpt,  470  elephants  and 
a  large  flotilla  of  boats.  Shams-ud-din  had  been  dead  for 
some  time,  and  his  son  Sikandar  had  succeeded  him. 
Following  the  example  of  his  father,  he  shut  himself  up  in 
the  fort  of  IqdalS.  The  fortress  was  besieged,  and  the 
royalists  made  breaches  in  its  walls,  which  were  soon  re- 
paired by  the  Bengalis,  who  displayed  great  courage  and 
vigour.  But  the  patience  of  both  sides  was  soon  exhausted 
by  this  interminable  siege,  and  negotiations  for  peace 
began.  Sikandar 's  envoy  conducted  the  negotiations  with 
great  patience,  tact  and  firmness.  He  agreed  to  the 


restoration  of  SonargSon  to  Zafar  Khan  and  sent  40  ele- 
phants and  valuable  presents  to  the  Sultan  to  cement  their 
friendship.  But  Zafar  Khan  who  was  the  chief  cause  of 
all  this  trouble  gave  up  the  idea  of  retiring  to  his  country 
and  preferred  to  remain  at  Delhi.  Once  again  Firuzj 
weakness  prevented  him  from  asserting  his  sovereijgaty 
over  a  province  which  was  well-nigh  within  his  grasp. 
"""  On  Ms  returrTfrdm  Bengal,  the  Sultan  halted  at  Jaun- 
pur,  from  where  he  marched  against  Jajnagar  (modern 

Orissa),  which  was  in  a  flourishing  condition. 
gation  of  the     The  Rai  of  Jajnagar  fled  at  the  approach  of 
J&J"     ^e  ro^  armY  andtook  shelter  in  an  island, 

whither  he  was  pursued  by  the  Sultan's 
forces.  The  temple  of  Jagannath  at  Puri  was  desecrated 
and  the  idols  were  thrown  into  the  sea.  At  last,  dismayed 
by  the  heavy  odds  arrayed  against  him,  he  sent  his  emis- 
saries to  negotiate  the  terms  of  peace.  To  their  utter  sur- 
prise, the  Sultan  informed  them  that  he  was  entirely 
ignorant  of  the  cause  of  their  master's  flight.  The  Rai 
explained  his  conduct  and  agreed  to  furnish  a  fixed  num- 
ber of  elephants  every  year  as  tribute.  The  Sultan  accept- 
ed these  terms,  and  having  obtained  the  submission  of 
several  other  Hindu  chieftains  and  Zamindars  on  his  way, 
he  returned  to  the  capital. 

The  fortress  of  Nagarkot  had  been  conquered  by  Mu- 
hammad Tughluq  in  1837  A.D.  ;  but  during  the  latter  part 

of  his  reign  its  Rai  had  established  himself 
Na^r/kVtf  as  an  ^dependent  ruler.  JThe  temple  ^f 
1860-61  A.D.  '  Jwalamukhi  in  Nagarkot  was  an  old  and 

venerated  shrine  which  was  visited  by  thou- 
sands of  Hindu  pilgrims  who  made  rich  offerings  to  the 
i3oT  Its  sanctity  was  an  additional  reason  which  led  the 


bigoted  Firuz  to  undertake  this  expedition  ;  and  the  con- 
temporary  cnromcier  writes  thai  when  the  Sultan  paid  a 
visitto  the  temple,  he  addressed  the  assembled  Rais,  Ranas, 
and  Zamindars  in  these  words  :  "  Of  what  avail  is  the 
worship  of  this  stone  ?  What  desire  of  yours  will  be  ful- 
filled by  praying  to  it  ?  It  is  declared  in  our  Holy  Law  that 
those  who  act  contrary  to  it  will  go  to  hell."  The  fort  of 
Nagarkot  was  besieged,  and  manjniqs  and  arradas  were 
placed  on  all  sides.  After  a  protracted  siege  of  six  months, 
which  well-nigh  exhausted  the  patience  of  the  combatants 
on  both  sides,  Firuz  offered  pardon  to  the  Rai,  who  "  came 
down  from  his  fort,  apologised,  and  threw  himself  at  the 
feet  of  the  Sultan,  who  placed  his  hand  on  his  back,  be- 
stowed upon  him  rich  robes  of  honour  and  sent  him  back 
to  his  fort." 

The  Thatta  expedition  is  one  of  the  most  interesting 

episodes  in  the  reign  of  Firuz  Tughluq.    It  originated  in 

adesjre  to  avenge  the  wrongs  done  by  thg 

uLhofThatn"  peopl€!  °£  Thatta  to  the  late  Sultan-  Pw 
1871-72  A.D.tai  parations  for  the  campaign  were  made,  and 
volunteers  were  enrolled  in  the  army  which 
consisted  of  00,000  cavalry,  numerous  infantry  and  480 
elephants.  A  large  flotilla  of  five  thousand  boats  was  also 
constructed  and  placed  under  experienced  admirals.  Jam 
Babiniya,  the  chieftain  of  Sindb,  arranged  in  battle  array 
Ms  forces  which  numbered  200,000  horse  and  40,000  foot, 
and  prepared  for  action.  Meanwhile  in  the  Sultan's  camp 
provisions  became  scarce  owing  to  famine  and  pestilence, 
which  decimated  the  troops  and  swept  away  nearly  one- 
fourth  of  ike  cavalry. 

Reduced  to  sore  straits,  the  Sultan  retreated  towards 
Gujarat  mnd  lost  liis  way  in  the  Han  of  Kutch.    Having 


reached  Gujarat,  he  organised  his  army  and  spent  about 
two  crores  in  obtaining  the  sinews  of  war.  The  royal 
army  was  further  strengthened  by  the  reinforcements 
sent  by  the  Khan-i-Jahan  from  Delhi.  The  Sindhians 
were  frightened  and  expressed  their  willingness  to 
surrender*  The  Jam  offered  submission  ;  he  was  taken  to 
Delhi  where  a  liberal  pension  was  granted  to  him  and  his 
brother  was  reinstated  in  the  Jamship. 

Firuz  revived  the  Jaffir  system  which  had  been  dis- 
continued by  Alauddin.    The  whole  empire  was  divided 
jntojfiefs  and  the  fiefs  into  districts  held 
d8°trlt!ondrain"     *>y  M»  officers.     In  addition  to 

of  land,  the  officers  of  the  state  were 
allowances  which  enabled  them  to  accumulate  large 
fortunes.  The  interests  of  the  agriculturists  were  well 
protected.  The  Sultan  constructed  four  canala  which 
irrigated  large  areas  of  land  and  levied  a  small  irrigation 
cess  which  amounted  to  10  per  cent  of  the  produce  of  the 
fields.  The  system  of  taxation  was  reorganise^  and  made 
to  conformj*)  the  law^of  Islam.  All  vexatious  taxes  were 
abolished  and  Firuz  in  his  Fatuhat-i-Firuashahi  takea 
-credit  for  abolishing  23  such  taxes.  He  levied  only  four 
taxes  allowed  by  theJHoly  Law,  namely,  the  Khiraj, 
ZakaL  Jeziya  andj£ham&.  The  spoils  of  war  and  conquest 
won  by  the  arms  of  the  faithful  were  to  be  aharad  bv 
the  army  and  the  state  in  the  proportion  laid  down  in  the 
•flaeredjfts^ The  new  policy  of  taxation  had  a  beneficial 
effect  on  the  development  of  trade  and  agriculture  Prices 
were  low,  and  no  scarcity  of  necessaries  was  ever  felt. 

In  administering  law  and  justice  Firuz  actecTJIke  an 
•^orthodox  Muslim.  He  followed  thg  Quran  with  the  strict- 
est fidelity.  The  mu# Axpouztfed  the  law,  and  the 


judgment,  the  legal  system  waa  reformed^ 

Torture  was  abolished,  and  leniency  was  shownjn  award- 
ing punishments  to  wrong-doers. 

The  Sultan  was  kindly  disposed  towards  the  poor  and 
the  unemployed.  The  Kotwals  majj^jists  of^  Jhqse  who 
were  in  want  and  forwardM^hemTto  i  the  Diwan  where 
Suitable  occupations  were  jroyided  for  thezrT  ~ 

Himself  acquainted  with  the  science  of  medicine,  the 
Sultan  established  a  hospital  (Dar~ul-Shafn)  at  Delhi 
where  medicines  were  distributecf  to  the  sick  free  of  cost. 
The  patients  were  supplied  with  food  at  the  expense  of 
the  state,  and  competent  physicians  were  appointed  to 
look  after  them. 

The  military  organisation  of  the  empire  rested  on  a 

feudal  basis.    Grants  of  land  were  made  to  the  soldiers 

mi.     A  .of  the  army  for  their  maintenance  while  the 

The  Army.         ~  -  7         *  _     . 

irregulars  (ghairwajh)  were  paid  from  the 
royal  treasury,  and  those  who  received  neither  salary  nor 
grants  of  land  were  given  assignments  upon  the  revenue. 
The  royal  army  consisted  of  80  or  90  thousand  cavalry  in 
addition  to  tne  retainers  01  tne  feudal  barons  and  grandees 
of  the  state,  who  numbered  a  little  less  than  two  hundred 
thousand.  Horsemen  were  required  to  bring  the  right 
kind  of  animals  to  the  registration  office,  and  the  corrupt 
practices  that  had  formerly  attended  this  business  were 
put  an  end  to  by  the  vigilant  Malik  Razi,  the  N&ib  Ariz-i- 
mamnlik  (deputy  muster-master).  The  soldiers  were 
treated  kindly  and  were  provided  with  all  sorts  of  com- 
f<a±p.  But  the  rSultan's  misplaced  generosity,  seriously 
impaired  the  efficiency  of  the  army  by  allowing  aged  and 
infirm  persons,  no  Jon^er  fit  for  active  service,  to  re~ 
main  in  it.  A  new  regulation  laid  down  that  when  a 


soldier  became  unfit  on  account  of  old  age,  his  son,  or 
son-in-law,  or  slave  should  succeed  him,  and  in  this  way 
"  the  veterans  were  to  remain  at  home  in  ease  and  the 
young  were  to  ride  forth  in  their  strength/7  ""~ 

One  of  the  principal  features  of  the  reign  of  Firuz 
was  the  unusual  growth  of  the  slave  system.    From  the 
various  parts  of  the  empire  slaves  were 

*  *  V  e  were  granted  allowances  bv 

the  state.  Owing  to  the  Sultan's  favour  the 
number  of  slaves  rapidly  multiplied,  so  that  in  a  few  years 
in  the  metropolis  and  the  provinces  of  the  empire  their 
total  number  reached  the  high  figure  of  180.000.  For  the 
proper  management  of  this  army  of  slaves,  a  separate 
department  with  a  regular  staff  of  officers  was  established, 
which  must  have  caused  a  heavy  drain  upon  the  treasury. 
Firuz  was  a  gre'at  builder.  He  founded  the  towns 
,of  Firuzabad,  Fatahabad^  Jaunpur^and  several  others: 
built  n>Q9cmea.  palaces,  monasteriea^Jid  inna 
for  tlie  convenience  of  travellers,  and  re- 
paired numerous  buildinfta  which  had 
suffered  from  the  ravages  of  time.  Numerous  artisans 
were  employed  by  the  state,  and 

dentjwas  appointed  to  supervise  the  work  of  each  class  of 
artisans.    The  plan  of  every  new  building  was  examined 

in  the  finance  ^office  (Diwan  4-  Wizarat)  and  then  money 
was  sanctioned  for  its  construction. 

The  Sultan  was  a  great  gardener.  He  rebuilt  30  old 
gardens  of  Alauddin  and  laid  out  1,200  new  ones  in  the  vici- 
nity of  DelhL  Numerous  gardens  and  orchards  were  laid 
.  which  yielded  to  the  state  a  large  revenue.  Much  waste 

land  was  reclaimed,  and  though  the  extent  of  the  empire 
reduced.  its  revenue  increased  by  several  millions. 


Firuz  took  interest  in  **>*  Pr?aflTTat1'ftP  "* 
msnumenta,  and  caused  two  monoliths  of  Afoka  to  be 
yed  to  his  new  city.  Learned  Brahmans  were  called 
to  decipher  the  inscriptions  on  the  pillars,  but  they  failed 
to  make  out  the  script  which  was  totally  different  from 
the  language  with  which  they  were  familiar.  Some 

to  please  t*1*  Sl1W  h.y 

recorded  in  the  inscriptions  that  no  one  woi]]^  h^  flMfi  ^ 
.remove  the  monoliths  until  the  advent  of  Firuz. 

Though  not  a  finished  scholar  like  his  cousin  Muham- 
mad Tughluq,  the  Sultan  was  interested  in  the  promotion 
^"  "  *  of  learning.  He  extended  his  patronage  to 
iePa?n?n°g!0n  °f  £b*ikhs  and  learned  men  and  accorded  to 
them  a  most  hearty  reception  in  his  Palace 
of  Grapes.  H^gHHlCTTeiiisions  and  .gratuities  to  them 
and  made  it  a  part  of  his  state  policy  to  encourage  learn- 
ed men  in  all  parts  of  the  empire.  He  yasjond  of  his- 
tory, and  the  works  of  2ia  Barani  and  Shams-i-Siraj  Afif, 
besides  ^£tlier  works  on  law^and  theology,  were  written 
during  his  reign.  Numerous  collects  ^and.  moaasterifia. 
were  established,  where  men  devoted  themselves  to  study 
and  meditation,  and  to  each  collecre  was  attached  a 
mosque  for  worship. 

Ine  MoBiri-i-Rahimi  of  Abdul  Baqi  states  that  he 
built  fifty  Madrasas.  Nizamuddin  and  Firishta  estimate 
the  number  to  be  thirty.  Firuz  speaks  of  such  institu- 
tions in  his  FatuhaL  The  Firuzshahi  Madrasa  at  Firuza- 
bad  was  liberally  endowefl  and  surpassed  in  scfrplastto 
attdrnnfiyita  fJi^  other  Mad™*™  nf  thA  tim^  The  Sultan 
caused  several  works  to  be  translated  from  Sanskrit 
info  perakm.  One  of  these  was  the  Dalaml-i-Firuzshahi 
which  was  seized  during  the  conquest  of  Nagarkot. 


No  account  of  Firuz's  reign  would  be  complete  with- 
out a  mention  of  his  able  and  energetic  minister  Khan-i- 
Jahan  MaqbQl.    He  was  originally  a  Hindu 
but  had  latterly   embraceS 

Islam.  HeHaad  acquired  much  valuable 
experience  of  public  affairs  under  Sultan  Muhammad' 
Tughluq,  who  had  entrusted  to  him  the  fief  of  Multian.. 
When  friruz  ascended  the  throne,  Maqbul  was  elevated 
to  the  position  of  the  Jirst  minister  of  the  realm  after* 
the  fall  of  Ahmad  bin  Ayaz.  When  he  went  on  distant, 
expeditions,  he  left  the  minister  in  charge  of  the  capital. 
and  the  Jatter  managed  the  affairs  of  the  state  with 
such  ability  and  vigour  that.,  the.  long  absence  of  the 
Sultan  had  no  effect  upon  the  administration.  Though  a 
great  statesman,  devoted  to  the  interests  of  the  state,  the 
minister  was  like  most  men  of  rank  in  ftis  age  addicted  to 
the  pleasures  of  the  haram,  It  is  said,  he  had  two  thousand 
women  of  different  nationalities  in  his  seraglio  and  a  large 
number  of  children,  who  were  all  liberally  provided  for/ 
by  the  state.  The  Khan-i-Jahan  lived  up  to  a  ripe  old 
age.  When  he  died  in  1370  A.D.  his  son  Juna  Shah, 
who  was  born  at  Multan  during  the  reign  of  Muhammad 
Tughluq,  was  confirmed  in  his  office,  and  the  title  which 
his  father  had  so  long  enjoyed  was  bestowed  upon  him. 

The  last  days  of  Piruz  were  clouded  by  sorrow  and 
anxiety,  and  the  even  tenor  of  his  life  was  disturbed  by 

the  dissensions  of  parties  and  factions.  The 
olpira?*  day8  infirmities  of  age  had  compelled  him  to  dele- 

gate his  authority  to  the  minister  Khan-i- 
Jahan,  but  the  latter's  overweening  pride  and  insolence 
filled  the  old  nobility  with  disgust.  In  order  to  put  Prince 
Muhammad  out  of  his  way,  the  minister  informed  the 


Sultan  that  the  Prince  had  entered  into  a  confederacy  with 
certain  disaffected  nobles  and  intended  to  take  his  life.  So 
skilfully  did  the  wily  minister  play  upon  the  fears  of  the 
weak-minded Firuz  that  he  readily  granted  him  permission 
to  arrest  the  conspirators.  But  the  Prince  proved  too  clever 
for  him,  and  by  a  dexterous  move  foiled  the  intrigues  of  his 
enemy.  Having  secured  permission  for  his  ladies  to  visit 
the  royal  seraglio,  he  put  on  his  armour  and  got  into  one  of 
the  palanquins.  When  he  reached  the  palace,  he  threw 
himself  at  the  feet  of  his  father  and  begged  forgiveness. 
He  was  pardoned  and  the  Sultan  declared  him  his  heir- 
apparent.  Secure  in  his  position,  the  Prince  spent  his  time 
in  pleasure  and  appointed  his  own  unworthy  favourites  to 
positions  of  honour.  Opposition  to  the  Prince  grew  apace, 
and  civil  war  ensued.  The  nobles  sought  the  protection  of 
the  old  Sultan,  and  his^gpe^y^nce  had  a  magical  eflpQ^t  pn 
the  hostile  troops.  The  Prince  fled  towards  the  Sirmur  hills, 
and  order  was  quickly  restored.  Piruz  once  more  assumed 
sovereignty,  but  advancing  age  rendered  him  unfit  for  the 
proper  discharge  of  kingly  duties.  The  last  public  act 
of  his  life  was  the  conferment  of  the  royal  insignia  upon 
his  grandson,  Tughluq  Shah  bin  Fatah  Khan,  to  whom 
he  delegated  his  authority.  Not  long  afterwards  the  old 
Sultan,  who  was  nearly  eighty  years  old,  died  in  the  month 
of  Ramzan,  790  A.H.  (October  1388).  His  death  was 
followed  by  the  scramble  of  rival  princes  and  parties  for 
power  which  will  be  described  in  the  next  chapter. 

After  the  death  of  Firuz  Tughluq  the  empire  of  Delhi 
which  had  shrunk  to  the  dimensions  of  a  small  principality* 
rapidly  declined  in  importance.   It  had  been 
greasy  disturbed  by  the  convulsions  of  Mu- 
hammad's reign,  and 


tejrecover  the  lost  prcn  '^ces.  As  a  result  of  his  policy  the 
centrifugal  tendencies,  so  common  in  Indian  history,  began 
to  work,  and  province  after  pro vince  separated  itself  from 
the  empire.  Ambitious  chiefs  and  disloyal  governors 
hoisted  the  flag  of  revolt,  and  defied  the  authority  of  the 
central  power,  which  had  become  incapable  of  asserting 
itself.  The  basic  principle  of  the  Muslim  State  in  the  four- 
teenth century  was  force  ;  but  the  awe  and  fear  in  which 
the  ruling  class  was  held  had  disappeared  owing  to  the 
relaxation  of  authority,  and  Firuz  was  loved  and  not 
feared  by  his  subjects.  The  Muslims,  accustomed  to  a 
life  of  ease  at  the  court,  lost  their  old  vigour  and  man- 
liness, and  behaved  like  a  disorderly  rabble  in  the  midst 
of  a  campaign.  The  jagir  system  led  to  great  abuses, 
and  often  the  feudatories  attempted  to  set  up  as  inde- 
pendent rulers.  ^  ne  slaves  of  Firuz  whose  number  had 
exceeded  all  reasonable  limits  were  another  source  of 
weakness.  The  whole  institution  had  undergone  a  radical 
change,  and  the  slaves,  no  longer  capable  and  loyal  like 
their  forbears  in  the  time  of  Balban  and  Alauddin, 
embroiled  themselves  in  disgraceful  intrigues,  and  added 
to  the  disorders  of  the  time.  The  incompetence  of  the 
later  Tughluqs  led  to  a  recrudescence  of  Hindu  revolts 
particularly  in  the  Doab,  where  Zamindars  and  Khuts 
withheld  tribute  and  began  to  play  the  role  of  petty 
despots.  The  revenue  was  not  realised,  and  the  whole 
administration  fell  into  a  state  of  chaos.  A  kingdom 
which  depended  for  its  existence  mainly  on  military 
strength  was  bound  to  be  pulled  to  pieces  like  a  child's 
map,  when  its  destinies  were  controlled  by  men  who  were 
neither  warriors  nor  statesmen,  and  who  could  be  utilised 
by  self-seeking  adventurers  for  their  own  aggrandisement 


By  their  incompetence,  the  successors  of  Firuz  accelerated 
the  process  of  disintegration,  the  seeds  of  which  hadL 
been  sown  during  his  r  eign. ' 

The  successor  of  Firuz  was  his  grandson  Tughluq 
Shah,  son  of  Prince  Fatah  Khan,  who  assumed  the  title  of 

Ghiyas-ud-din  Tughluq  II.  This  young  and 
suc^ss^s6  aokf  inexperienced  ruler  had  no  idea  of  the  magni- 
Piruz.  tude  of  the  difficulties  that  surrounded  him 

and  the  dangers  that  threatened  the  empire 
of  Delhi.  He  gave  himself  up  to  debauch  and  pleasure, 
and  neglected  the  affairs  of  the  state.  His  conduct 
alienated  the  sympathies  of  the  great  officials  and  Amirs, 
and  when  he  threw  into  prison  Abu  Bakr,  son  of  Zaf ar 
Khan,  they  formed  a  conspiracy  to  overthrow  him.  The 
conspirators  entered  the  palace,  and  the  Sultan  who 
knew  that  they  had  designs  on  him  escaped  with  the 
wazir  towards  the  river.  But  he  was  pursued  and  over- 
taken by  one  of  the  conspirators,  just  when  he  was  about 
to  cross  the  river,  and  was  beheaded  on  the  spot  on 
February  19, 1389  A. D.  Abu  Bakr  succeeded  him  ;  gradual- 
ly he  established  his  hold  over  Delhi,  and  his  influence  and 
authority  began  to  wax  from  day  to  day.  But  the  peace  of 
the  realm  was  disturbed  by  the  news  of  the  murder  of  the 
Amir  ol  Samana,  who  had  been  sent  against  Prince 

1  8tanley  Lane-Poole  mentions  inter-marriage  with  the  Hindus 
innnp.nft.bft  o.a.Vftpa  of  d  is  migration.  Tkia  18  narfllv  norrect.  P  Irtig 
himself,  who  was  born  of  a  Hindu  mother,  never  showed  any  Hindu  pro- 
clivities. On  the  contrary,  he  was  a  bigot,  who  always  deemed  it  an 
act  of  merit  to  persecute  the  "  infidels.  "  Besides,  Lane-Poole's  state- 
ment is  not  borne  out  by  subsequent  history  The  great  Mughal  Emperor 
Akbar  adopted  the  policy  of  matrimonial  alliances  with  a  view  to  streng- 
then the  empire,  and  this  policy  succeeded  remarkably  well:  The  empire 
continued  as  vigorous  as  before  under  his  two  successors,  and  it  broke  up- 
only  when  Aurangzeb  abandoned  the  policy  of  religious  toleration  which 
bis  great-grandfather  had  inaugurated. 


Muhammad,  the  your  ~<*r  eon  of  Sultan  Firuz  Shah.  The- 
latter  readily  grasped  at  this  opportunity,  and  forthwith 
proceeded  to  Samana,  where  he  proclaimed  himself  em- 
peror. Encouraged  by  the  offers  of  help  from  some  of  the 
Amirs  and  nobles  at  the  capital,  he  marched  towards  Delhi 
and  encamped  in  its  neighbourhood.  A  terrible  civil  war 
became  imminent,  and  ambitious  chiefs  and  slaves  began 
to  sway  the  scale  on  one  side  or  the  other.  Bahadur  Nahir 
of  Mewat  joined  Abu  Bakr,  and  with  his  help  the  armies 
of  Delhi  succeeded  in  inflicting  a  defeat  upon  Prince 
Muhammad  in  the  battle  of  Firuzabad.  The  vanquished 
prince  went  into  the  Doab  and  began  to  make  efforts  to 
obtain  fresh  allies.  His  troops,  mortified  by  their  defeat, 
ravaged  the  lands  of  the  Doab,  and  plundered  the  estates 
of  the  nobles  and  Amirs  of  Delhi.  Sharp  skirmishes  with 
the  Zamindars  and  petty  chieftains  followed  and  the  lex 
talionis  was  freely  resorted  to.  Abu  Bakr's  indifference 
to  these  depredations  turned  his  nobles  against  him,  and 
many  of  them  went  over  to  the  side  of  the  enemy. 
Having  organised  his  forces,  Muhammad  returned  ta 
Jalesar,  where  he  encamped  and  busied  himself  in  making 
preparations  for  battle.  A  battle  was  fought  near 
Panipat,  but  fortune  again  favoured  Abu  Bakr,  and 
Prince  Humayun,  Muhammad's  son,  suffered  a  severe 
defeat.  Muhammad,  who  was  assisted  by  a  faction  at 
Delhi,  did  not  lose  heart,  and  when  Abu  Bakr  left  for 
Mewat  to  seek  the  help  of  Bahadur  Nahir,  the  disaffected 
nobles  invited  him  to  come  to  the  capital.  In  response 
to  this  invitation  Muhammad  marched  towards  Delhi, 
where  he  was  cordially  received  by  his  partisans.  Having 
effected  a  safe  entry  into  the  capital,  Prince  Muhammad 
took  his  abode  in  the  palace,  and  ascended  the  throne  at 


Firuzabad  under  the  title  of  Nasir-ud-din  Muhammad  in 
August  1390.  In  order  to  consolidate  his  power,  the 
new  Sultan  deprived  the  old  Firuzshahi  slaves,  who  were 
partisans  of  Abu  Bakr,  of  the  custody  of  elephants. 
They  protested  against  this  step  but  in  vain,  and  one 
night  they  fled  with  their  wives  and  children  to  join  Abu 
Bakr.  The  Sultan  sent  Prince  Humayun  and  Islam  Khan 
against  his  rival  and  the  slaves  of  the  old  regime.  Islam 
Khan's  intrepid  action  overpowered  Abu  Bakr,  and  when 
the  latter  saw  that  his  cause  was  lost,  he  made  his  sub- 
mission. The  Sultan  pardoned  Bahadur  Nahir  and  im- 
prisoned Abu  Bakr  in  the  fort  of  Meerut,  where  he  died 

The  Sultan  returned  to  Delhi,  but  the  good  effect  of 
his  victory  was  marred  by  the  rebellion  of  the  Zamindars 
of  the  Doab.  The  revolt  of  Narasingh,  Zamindar  of 
Etawah,  was  successfully  put  down,  but  Islam  Khan's 
treasonable  conduct  caused  the  Sultan  much  anxiety. 
On  the  evidence  of  a  kinsman  of  his  own,  Islam  was 
condemned  to  death  without  a  trial.  But  more  formidable 
in  magnitude  than  all  these  was  the  rebellion  of  Bahadur 
Nahir  of  Mewat,  who  began  to  make  inroads  into  the 
environs  of  Delhi.  The  Sultan,  although  in  a  state  of 
feeble  health,  proceeded  against  him,  and  compelled  him 
to  seek  refuge  in  his  own  fortress.  His  health  declined 
rapidly,  and  he  died  on  January  15,  1394.  He  was 
succeeded  by  his  son  Humayun,  but  his  life  was  cut  short 
.by  a  "violent  disorder,"  and  he  died  after  a  few  days. 

JThe  vacant  throne  now  fell  to  the  lot  of  Prince 
M  ah  mud,  the  youngest  son  of  Muhammad,  who  assumed 
the  sceptre  under  the  title  of  Nasir-ud-din  Mahmud 
Tughluq.  The  problems  which  confronted  the  new 


government  were  difficult  and  multifarious.  At  the 
capital,  the  scramble  of  parties  and  factions  made  the 
establishment  of  a  strong  administration  well-nigh  im- 
possible ;  abroad,  the  Hindu  chiefs  and  Muslim  governors 
openly  disregarded  the  authority  of  the  central  govern- 
ment. The  whole  country  from  Kanauj  to  Bihar  and 
Bengal  was  in  a  state  of  turmoil,  and  many  of  the  chiefs 
and  Zamindars  had  begun  to  exercise  de  facto  sovereignty 
within  their  territorial  limits.  Khwaja  Jahan  who  had 
been  created  Malik-us-Sharq  (Lord  of  the  East)  became 
independent  at  Jaunpur ;  the  Khokhars  revolted  in  the 
north;  Gujarat  declared  its  independence,  and  Malwa 
and  Khandesh  followed  suit.  The  government  found  it 
impossible  to  arrest  the  forces  of  disorder,  which  was 
aggravated  by  the  acrimonious  disputes  of  contending 
parties  at  Delhi  Some  of  the  nobles  put  forward  Nusrat 
Khan,  a  grandson  of  Firuz  Tughluq,  as  a  rival  claimant 
to  the  throne.  The  Amirs  and  Maliks  at  Piruzabad,  to- 
gether with  the  slaves  of  the  old  regime,  espoused  the 
cause  of  Nusrat,  while  those  at  Delhi  gave  their  support 
to  Mahmud  Tughluq.  Thus,  there  were  two  Sultans 
arrayed  in  hostile  camps,  and  the  imperial  crown  was 
tossed  to  and  fro  like  a  shuttlecock  between  the  contend- 
ing factions.  A  large  number  of  party  leaders  arose, 
but  the  most  distinguished  among  them  were  Bahadur 
Nahir,  Mallu  Iqbal,  and  Muqarrab  Khan.  Fighting  went 
on  ceaselessly  ;  and  the  protagonists  on  either  side  keenly 
contested  for  supremacy  without  any  appreciable  result. 
The  provincial  governors  took  no  part  in  these  civil  wars ; 
but  they  vigilantly  watched  the  fluctuations  in  the  fortunes 
of  rival  parties.  Towards  the  close  of  the  year  1397,  came 
the  news  that  the  army  of  Timur  had  crossed  the  Indus 


•and  laid  siege  to  Uchha  The  effect  of  the  advent  of  a 
foreign  army  was  soon  felt  at  the  capital,  where  the 
parties  began  to  shift  their  positions  with  astonishing 
rapidity.  Mallu  Iqbal  went  over  to  the  side  of  Nusrat 
Khan,  and  the  new  allies  swore  fealty  to  each  other,  but 
the  compact  was  too  hastily  formed  to  last  long.  Sultan 
Mahmud  and  his  powerful  allies,  Muqarrab  Khan  and 
Bahadur  Nahir,  occupied  old  Delhi.  Mallu  Iqbal  trea- 
<5herously  attacked  Nusrat,  but  the  prince  having  got 
scent  of  his  treasonable  designs  escaped  to  Tatar  Khan  at 
Panipat.  Mallu  Iqbal  now  turned  against  his  irreconcil- 
able foe,  Muqarrab,  and  determined  to  drive  him  out  of 
the  capital.  A  fierce  fight  raged  between  them,  and  it  was 
after  two  months  that  a  peace  was  patched  up  through 
the  intervention  of  some  noblemen.  But  Mallu  was  not 
the  man  to  abide  by  his  plighted  word ;  he  attacked 
Muqarrab  at  his  residence  and  had  him  cruelly  put  to 
death.  Muqarrab's  death  broke,  as  it  were,  the  right  arm 
of  Sultan  Mahmud,  who,  deprived  of  all  royal  authority, 
became  a  tool  in  the  hands  of  Mallu  Iqbal.  He  made 
efforts  to  reorganise  the  administration,  but  the  grim 
spectre  of  a  foreign  invasion  stared  him  in  the  face.  The 
ominous  news  flashed  forth  that  Amir  Timur  was  advanc- 
ing upon  Hindustan  with  his  myriad  hosts. 

Timurwas  born  in  1336  A.D.  at  Kech  in  Transoxiana, 
fifty  miles  south  of  Samarqand.    He  was  the  son  of  Amir 

Turghav.  chief  of  the  Gurkan  branch  of  the 
.  Tim  u  r/8  Barias,  a  noble  Turkish  tribe,  and  a  nephew 
A.D.9  oFaaji  Barias.  At  the  age  of  33  he  became 

the  head  of  the  CfraghtIB  Turks  and  con- 
stantly waged  war  against  Persia  and  the  adjoining  lands. 
Having  made  himself  master  of  the  countries  of  central 


Asia,  he  resolved  on  the  invasion  of  Hindustan,  which 
was  at  the  time  in  a  state  of  anarchy.  His  motive  in 
doing  so  was  '  to  purify  the  land  itself  from  the  filth  of 
infidelity  and  polytheism,  ' 

The  advance  guard  of  Timur  's  army  under  Pir  Muham- 
mad soon  reached  India.  crossedjh^IlldU3,  capturedUchha. 
and  then  advanced  upon  Multan,  which  also  capitulated 
after  a  protracted  siege  of  six  months.  Having  collected 
•a  large  army  from  all  parts  of  his  wide  dominions, 
Timur  marched  across  the  Hindukushjtnd  crossed  the  river 
Indus  on  September  24f  1398.  When  he  reached  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Dipalpur^  the  people  who  had  murdered 
Musafir  Qabuli  whom  Pir  Muhammad  had  appointed 
.governor  of  their  city,  fled  out  of  fear  and  took  refuge 
in  the  fort  of  Bhatnir,  which  was  one  of  the  most 
renowned  fortresses  irT  Hindustan.  The  generals  of 
Timur  attacked  the  fort  on  the  right  and  left  and 
captured  it.  The  Rai  submitted,  but  the_Amir  J!?fl!$te<l 
heavy  punishments  upon  thelnhabitaiitg_of  Bhatnir.  Men 
«id  women  were  slain,  their  goods  were  forcibly  seized. 
and  the  buildings  and  the  fort  were  razed  to  the  ground. 

From  Iffiatnir  Tjprmr  parched  tp  Siranti  which  was 
easily  conquered,  and  when  he  reached  Kaithal  which 
is  at  a  distance  of  34  miles  from  Samana,  he  began 
to  make  preparations  for  an  attack  upon  Delhi.  As  the 
-army  progressed  in  its  journey,  the  inhabitants  of  the 
towns  through  whifeh  it  pasted  flad  fa 

houses  and  goods  at  the  dianoaul  of  thP  _ 

.after  town  surrendered^  and  in  a  short  time  Timur  reached 
the  Jahanuma.  a  fine  palace  built  by  F1*1™  Shflfr  ftt~ft 
.distance  of  six  miles  from  Delhi.  The  neighbour  ing  country 
was  ravaged,  and  the  soldiers  were  permitted  to  obtain 


food  and  fodder  for  themselves  and  their  cattle  by  means 
of  plunder.  When  Timur  reached  near  Delhi,  he  ordered 
that  the  100,000  Hindustwho  were  in  his  camp  should  be 
put  to  death,  for  he  thought  that  on  the  great  day  of 
battle,  they  might  4  break  their  bonds  '  and  go  over  to  the 
enemy.  Even  such  a  pious  man  as  Maulana  Naair-ud-din 
Omar,  who  had  never  killed  a  sparrow  in  his  life,  slew 
who  happened  to  be  his  prisoners! 

Timur  organised  his  forces  in  battle  array  and  made 
ready  for  action.  Sultan  Mahmud  and  Mallu  Iqbal  collect- 
ed an  army,  which  contained  10,000  well-trained  horse, 
40,000  foot  and  125  elephants.  The  two  armies  confronted 
each  other  outside  Delhi.  In  the  battle  that  followed,  the 
Delhi  army  fought  with  desperate  courage,  but  it  was 
defeated,  Mahmud  and  Mallu  Iqbal  fled  from  the  field 
of  battle,  and  Timur  hoisted  his  flag  on  the  ramparts  of 
Delhj.  The  city  was  thorou^ljrsacked,  and  th(T  iniiabi- 
tants  were  massacred.  According  to  the  Zafarnama  men 
and  women  were  madq  slaves,  and  vast  booty  fell  into 
the  hands  of  the  enemy,  S^v^ya!  tho^^an4  craftsmen 
and  mechanics  were  brought  out  of  the  city  and  were 
divided  among  the  jPrinceg^jLmirs,  and  Aghas,  who  had 
.assisted  in  the  conquest. 

Timur  halted  at  Delhi  for  a  fortnight  which  he  spent 
in  pleasure  and  enjoyment.  After  that  he  moved  towards 

Mgei^tr  and  thfin  flronftftdftd  tn  Hard  wnr  where  afierce  fight 

raged  between  the  Hindus  and  Muslims.  This  was  follow- 
ed by  a  sucgfiasf  ul  raid  in  the  Siwalik  hills.  The  Raj  waa 
defeated,  and  vast  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  victors. 
\  Having  completed  the  conquest  of  a  Siwalik  country, 
tlmur  marched  toward*  Jamm^  Th^Bgjawasdefeated 
and  takqn  prisoner,  and  forced  to  embraceTsIaqa.  ~* 



The  task  of  conquest  was  now  over,  Timur  felt  that 
it  was  time  to  go.  Having  entrusted  the  fiefs  of  Lahore. 
Mul  tan  and  Dipalpur  to  Khizr  Khan,  hejeftfor  Samarqapd. 

Timur's  invasion  caused  widespread  anarchy  in    fTiir 

<lustan.  The^government  at  Delhi  was  completely  para- 
lysed,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  the  capital  as 
wel1  as  in  the  Provinces  of  the  empire,  the 

greatest confusion     prevailed.     To    the 

sufferings  consequent  upon  a  war,  conducted  by  heartlesg 
ruffians,  fired  by  a  fanatical  thirst  for  bloodshed  and 
-plunder,  were  added  the  horrors  of  famine  and  pestilence. 
which  destroyed  men  and  Battle,  and  caused  a_susE£nsion 
of  agriculture.  The  dislocation  of  the  entire  social 
systemT~coupled  with  the  abeyance  of  political  authority 
capable  of  enforcing  peace  and  order,  favoured  the 
plans  of  the  military  adventurers,  who  harried  the  land  and 
harassed  thejagojale  for  their  own  aggrandisement.  The 
small  military  cliques,  working  for  their  own  selfish  ends, 
became  the  chief  curse  of  the  time.  In  March  1399, 
Sultan  Nusrat  Shah,  who  had  fled  into  the  Doab,  recovered 
possession  of  Delhi,  but  it  soon  passed  into  the  hands  of 
Iqbal  Khan,  whose  sway  extended  over  a  few  districts  in 
the  Doab  and  the  fiefs  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  capital. ' 

1  The  rest  of  the  empire  was   parcelled   out  into   fiefs   which   were 

Tarikh-i-Mubarak  Shahi,  Elliot,  IV,  p.  37. 
The  following  were  the  principal  fiefs  of  the  empire : — 
Delhi  and   the   Doab  ...  ..     Iqbal  Khan. 

Gujarat    with    all   its     districts    and 


Multan,  Dipalpur  and  parts  of  Sindh 
Mahoba  and  Kalpi 
Kanauj,  Oudh,  Kara,  Dalmau.  Sandila, 

Bahraich,  Bihar  and  Jaunpur, 

Zaiar  Khan  Wajih-ul- 


Khizr  Khan. 
Mahmud  Khan. 
Khwaja  Jahan. 

..     Dilawar  Khan. 
..     Ghalib  Khan. 
~     Shams  Khan. 


Iqbal  gradually  asserted  his  authority,  and  in  1401  he  was 
joined  by  Sultan  Mahmud,  whom  he  formally  received 
in  the  capital.  But  as  real  power  was  in  the  hands  of 
Iqbal,  Sultan  Mahmud  chafed  against  the  restraint  imposed 
upon  him,  and  sought  in  vain  the  help  of  Ibrahim  Shah 
of  Jaunpur.  Thus  foiled  in  his  efforts  to  effect  a  coalition 
against  Iqbal,  the  Sultan  settled  at  Kanauj,  where  the 
disbanded  troops  and  retainers  rallied  round  his  banner. 
Iqbal  marched  towards  Gwalior  to  chastise  the  local  ruler 
Bhima  Deva,  but  he  was  obliged  to  raise  the  siege  and 
return  to  Delhi.  His  expedition  against  the  Hindu  chiefs 
of  Etawah  was  more  successful ;  but  when  he  marched 
towards  Multan,  Ehizr  Khan,  the  governor,  opposed  him, 
and  in  a  battle  that  ensued  Iqbal  was  slain  in  1405.  The 
death  of  Iqbal  removed  from  the  path  of  Mahmud  a  formid- 
able opponent,  and  on  being  invited  by  Daulat  Khan  and 
other  nobles,  he  proceeded  to  Delhi,  but  the  imbecility  of 
his  character  soon  made  him  unpopular  with  the  army, 
and  prevented  him  from  making  a  proper  use  of  his  restor- 
ed rights.  The  author  of  the  Tg/nkh-i-Mubarak  Sh&hi 
who  has  carefully  chronicled  the  events  of  this  troubled 
period,  writes  :  "  The  whole  business  was  fallen  into  the 
greatest  disorder.  The  Sultan  gave  no  heed  to  the  duties 
of  his  station,  and  had  no  care  for  the  permanency  of  the 
throne;  his  whole  time  was  devoted  to  pleasure  and 
debauchery. " 

Sultan  Mahmud  died  in  1412,  and  with  him,  as  Firishta 
writes,  fell  the  kingdom  of  Delhi  from  the  race  of  the 
Turks,  who  had  mightily  swayed  the  sceptre  for  more  than 
two  centuries.  After  his  death  the  Amirs  and  Maliks 
chose  Daulat  Khan  as  their  leader  and  gave  him  their 
adhesion.  Daulat  Khan  received  no  honours  of  royalty ; 


he  occupied  only  the  position  of  the  head  of  a  military 
p%flrn.hv  which  was  trying  to  save  itself  from  a  highly 
difficult  situation.  Shortly  after  his  assumption  of  this 
quasi-royal  office,  Daulat  Khan  led  an  expedition  to 
Katehar  and  received  the  submission  of  the  Hindu 
chiefs.  At  this  time  came  the  disquieting  news  that 
Ibrahim  of  Jaunpur  was  besieging  Qadr  Khan  in  his 
fortress  at  Kalpi,  but  Daulat  Khan  had  no  forces  at  his 
command  to  march  to  his  relief.  Meanwhile  Khizr  Khan, 
the  governor  of  Multan  and  Timur's  deputy  in  Hindustan, 
who  had  been  watching  the  disordered  state  of  things, 
advanced  upon  Delhi,  and  after  a  siege  of  four  months 
compelled  Daulat  Khan  to  surrender  on  May  28,  1414. 
Fortune  befriended  Khizr  Khan  ;  he  easily  acquired  pos- 
session of  Delhi  and  laid  the  foundations  of  a  new 


(i)  The  Rise  of  Provincial  Dynasties 

In  the  tenth  century  the  kingdom  of  Malwa  fell  into  the 
hands  of  the  Parmar  Rajputs,    and  under  their  rule  it 
attained  to  great  prominence      During  the 
Malwa>  reign  of  Raja  Bhoja  of  Dhara,  Malwa  became 

very  famous.  In  1235lltutmish  raided  Ujjain  and  demolished 
the  famous  temple  of  MahakSli.  Alauddin  conquered  it  in 
1310,  land  from  that  time  it  continued  to  be  held  by  Muslim 
governors  until  the  break-up  of  the  kingdom  of  Delhi  after 
(the  death  of  Firuz  TughluQ.  In  1401  Dilawar  Khan,  a  des- 
cendant of  Muhammad  Ghori  and  one  of  the  fief-holders  of 
Firuz  Tughluq,  established  his  independence  during  the 
period  of  confusion  that  followed  the  invasion  of  Timur  and 
made  Dhar  the  capital  of  his  kingdom. l  DilSwar  was  suc- 
ceeded by  his  son,  Alap  Khan,  under  the  title  of  Hushang 
Shah  (1405—1434  A.D.),  who  transferred  his  capital  to 
Mandu,  which  he  adorned  with  many  beautiful  buildings. 
The  situation  of  Malwa  and  the  fertility  of  its  lands  involved 
it  in  wars  with  the  neighbouring  kingdoms  of  Delhi,  Jaun- 
pur,  and  Gujarat,  which  greatly  taxed  her  resources.  Hush- 
ang was  defeated  in  a  war  with  Gujarat  and  was  taken 
prisoner,  but  he  was  soon  liberated  and  restored  to  his  king- 
dom. He  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Ghazni  Khan,  a  worth- 
Jess  debauchee,  who  was  murdered  by  his  minister  Mahmud 

1  Firishta  has  given  a  connected  account  of  the  kings  of  Malwa.  See 
Brigge,  IV,  pp.  167—279. 



Khan,1  aKhilji  Turk,  who  usurped  the  throne  and  assumed 
the  honours  of  royalty.  Under  Mahmud  Khilji  (1436—69 
A.D.)  Malwa  rose  to  be  a  powerful  and  prosperous  kingdom 
and  its  ruler  established  his  fame  as  a  great  general  and 
warrior  all  over  Hindustan,  by  his  unending  wars  against  the 
rulers  of  Raj  put  an  a,  Gujarat,  and  the  Sultans  of  the  Bah- 
mani  dynasty.  Mahmud  was  a  brave  soldier  ;  his  fondness 
for  war  was  so  great  that  his  whole  life  was  spent  in  the 
military  camp.  As  an  administrator  he  was  just  and  gener- 
ous, and  Firishta  writes  of  him:  "Sultan  Mahmud  was. 
polite,  brave,  just,  and  learned  ;  and  during  his  reign, 
his  subjects,  Muhammadans  as  well  as  Hindus,  were  happy, 
and  maintained  a  friendly  intercourse  with  each  other. 
Scarcely  a  year  passed  that  he  did  not  take  the  field,  so  that 
his  teiftbecame  his  home,  and  the  field  of  battle,  his  resting 
place.  His  leisure  hours  were  devoted  to  hearing  the  his- 
tories and  memoirs  of  the  courts  of  different  kings  of  the 
earth  read." 

Mahmud  Khilji  greatly  enlarged  his  dominion,  which 
extended  in  the  south  to  the  Satpura  range,  in  the  west  to 
the  frontier  of  Gujarat,  on  the  east  to  Bundelkhand,  and  on 
the  north  to  Mewar  and  Herauti.  In  1440  the  ambitious'] 
Sultan  proceeded  against  Delhi,  which  was  in  a  state  of  de- 
cline, but  Bahlol  Lodi  successfully  resisted  his  advance.  His 
war  with  Rana  Kumbha  of  Chittor  about  the  same  time  waa 
indecisive.  Both  sides  claimed  the  victory.  The  Rana 

1  Mahmud  Khilji  was  the  son  of  Malik  Mughis  Khilji.  Both  fathei 
and  son  acted  as  ministers  to  Hushang  Hushang's  son,  Ghazni  Khan, 
who  assumed  the  title  of  Muhammad  Ghori,  was  married  to  the  sister  of 
Mahmud  Khilji.  Being  a  debauchee  and  a  drunkard,  he  left  the  busi- 
ness of  the  state  entirely  in  the  hands  of  Mahmud  Khilji,  whose  ambition 
led  him  to  imprison  his  royal  patron.  Briggs,  IV,  pp.  186,  191,  193, 
Elliot,  IV,  pp.  562—54. 


commemorated  his  triumph  by  building  the  "  Tower  of 
Victory  "  at  Chittor,  iwhile  the  Khilji  war-lord  erected  a 
seven-storied  tower  at  Mandu  as  a  monument  of  his  success. 

Mahmud  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Ghiy5s-ud-din  in  1469 
A.D.,  who  was  poisoned  to  death  by  his  son  Nasir-ud-din, 
who  ascended  the  throne  in  1500  A.D.  Nasir-ud-din's  mur- 
der of  his  father  does  not  seem  to  have  shocked  Muslim 
sentiment  at  the  time  it  was  committed,  but  nearly  a  cen- 
tury later  it  received  a  most  scathing  condemnation  from 
Jahangir,  who  ordered  the  ashes  of  the  parricide  to  be  cast 
into  the  fire. 

Nasir-ud-din  turned  out  a  miserable  sensualist  and  a  brut- 
al tyrant,  and  Jahangir's  informant  told  him,  when  he 
visited  the  place  in  1617,  that  there  were  15,000  women  in 
his  haram,  accomplished  in  all  arts  and  crafts,  and  that 
whenever  he  heard  of  a  beautiful  virgin,  he  would  not  desist 
until  he  obtained  possession  of  her.  In  a  fit  of  drunken- 
ness, when  he  fell  into  the  Kaliyadaha  lake,  none  of  his 
attendants  had  the  courage  to  pull  him  out,  for  he  had  mer- 
cilessly punished  them  for  similar  service  on  a  previous 
occasion,  and  he  was  left  to  be  drowned.  He  was  succeeded 
in  1510  by  Mahmud  II,  who  called  in  the  Rajputs  to  curb 
the  turbulence  of  the  Muslim  oligarchy^  which  had  become 
powerful  in  the  state.  He  appointed  a  Rajput  nobleman, 
Medini  Rao,  to  the  office  of  minister  with  the  result  that 
Hajput  influence  became  predominant  at  his  court.  Dis- 
trustful of  the  motives  of  his  powerful  minister,  he  called  in 
the  aid  of  Muzaffar  Shah,  king  of  Gujarat,  to  expel  him 
and  re-establish  his  power.  A  believer  in  the  efficacy  of 
the  sword,  Mahmud  came  into  conflict  with  Rana  Sanga, 
the  redoubtable  ruler  of  Mewar,  who  captured  him,  but 
with  the  magnanimity  of  a  Rajput  released  him  afterwards 

To  face  page  182 

Tower  of  Victory  at  Ohittor 


and  restored  him  to  his  kingdom.  The  unwise  Sultan,  who 
ill-appreciated  this  act  of  generosity,  again  led  an  attack 
upon  the  Rana's  successor,  but  he  was  captured  by  his  ally, 
Bahadur  Shah  of  Gujarat,  who  defeated  and  executed  him. 
All  the  male  members  of  the  royal  house  were  put  to  death, 
the  sole  survivor  being  one  who  was  at  Humayun's  court. 
The  kingdom  of  Malwa  was  annexed  to  Gujarat  in  1531,  and 
continued  to  be  a  part  of  it  until  it  was  conquered  by  Huma- 
yun.  Humayun  expelled  Bahadur  Shah  from  Malwa  in  1535, 
and  defeated  him  at  Mandasor  and  Mandu.  When  the 
sovereignty  of  Delhi  passed  into  the  hands  of  Sher  Shah,  he 
entrusted  the  province  to  one  of  his  co-ad  jutors.  Shujat 
Khan,  who  was  succeeded  on  his  death  by  his  son,  Malik 
Bayazid,  known  as  Baz  Bahadur,  so  famous  in  folk-lore  and1 
legend  by  reason  of  his  passionate  attachment  to  the  beauti- 
ful and  accomplished  princess,  Rupmati  of  Sarangpur.  In 
1562  the  conquest  of  Malwa  was  effected  with  terrible  cruel- 
ty by  Akbar's  generals,  Adam  Khan  and  Pir  Muhammad, 
and  it  was  annexed  to  the  Mughal  empire.  Baz  Bahadur, 
after  a  futile  struggle,  acknowledged  Akbar  as  his  suzerain, 
and  received  the  command  of  2,000  horse  as  a  mark  of  royal 

The  province  of  Gujarat  was  one  of  the  most  fertile  and 

wealthy  provinces  of  India,  and  had  always  attracted  the 

,,  .     ,  attention   of  foreign  invaders.     Mahmud  of 

Gujarat.  • 

Ghazni  was  the  first  Muslim  invader,  whose 
famous  raid  upon  the  temple  of  Somnath  was  the  prelude 
to  further  Muslim  invasions.  But  the  permanent  conquest 
of  Gujarat  was  not  attempted  until  the  reign  of  Alauddin 
Khilji,  who  annexed  it  to  the  Sultanate  of  Delhi  in  1297. 
The  province  was  henceforward  held  by  Muslim  governors 
who  were  subordinate  to  the  rulers  of  Delhi,  but  whose 


loyalty  fluctuated  according  to  the  strength  or  weakness  of 
the  central  government.  After  the  invasion  of  Timur,  when 
the  affairs  of  the  Delhi  kingdom  fell  into  confusion,  Zafar 
Khan,  the  governor,  assumed  the  position  of  an  independent 
prince  in  1401,  and  formally  withdrew  his  allegiance.  His 
son  Tatar  Khan  conspired  with  some  of  the  discontented 
nobles  to  get  rid  of  his  father,  who  was  an  obstacle  to  his 
assumption  of  royal  dignity.  He  threw  him  into  confine- 
ment, and  assumed  royal  honours  under  the  title  of  Nasir-ud- 
din  Muhammad  Shah  in  1403.  But  this  glory  was  short- 
lived, for  he  was  soon  afterwards  poisoned  by  Shams  Khan, 
one  of  his  father's  confidants.  Zafar  Khan  was  brought 
from  Asawal,  and  with  the  consent  of  the  nobles  and  officers 
of  the  army,  he  assumed  the  honours  of  royalty  under  the 
title  of  Muzaffar  Shah.  He  subdued  Dhar  and  undertook 
several  other  expeditions  to  consolidate  his  power.  But  four 
years  later,  he  was  poisoned  by  his  grandson  Ahmad  Shah 
who  was  anxious  to  usurp  the  throne  for  himself. 
A  4w&e  was  the  true  founder  of  the  independence  of  Gujarat. 
A  brave  and  warlike  prince,  he  spent  his  whole  life  in  wag- 
ing wars  and  conquering  territories  to  en- 
lar£e  the  boundaries  of  his  small  kingdom. 
In  the  first  year  of  his  reign,  he  built  the 
city  of  Ahmadabad.on  the  left  bank  of  the  Sabarmati  river 
near  the  old  tpwn  of  Asawal,  and  adorned  it  with  beautiful 
buildings,  and  invited  artisans,  and  merchants  to  settle  there. 
|He  was  an  orthodox  Muslim,  and  waged  wars  against  the 
'Hindus,  destroyed  their  temples,  and  forced  them  to  em- 
brace Islam.  In  1414  he  marched  against  Girnar  and  defeat- 
ed the  Rai  who  offered  submission.  He  led  an  attack  upon 
Malwa  in  1421  and  laid  siege  to  Mandu.  Hushang  whose 
army  was  defeated  in  two  skirmishes  secured  his  pardon  by 


promising  fealty  in  the  future.  The  last  notable  expedition, 
was  undertaken  by  the  Sultan  in  1437  to  assist  Prince  Masud 
Khan,  grandson  of  Hushang  of  Malwa,  who  had  fled  from 
the  tyranny  of  Mahmud  Khilji,  the  murderer  of  his  father 
and  the  usurper  of  his  ancestral  dominions.  Mandu  was 
besieged,  and  the  usurper  Mahmud  Khilji  was  defeated  in  a 
hotly  contested  engagement.  But  the  sudden  outbreak  of 
a  severe  epidemic  spoiled  the  fruits  of  victory,  and  the  Sul- 
tan was  obliged  to  beat  a  hasty  retreat  towards  Ahmadabad 
where  he  breathed  his  last  in  1441. 

Ahmad  Shah  was  a  brave  and  warlike  prince  ;  he  was  a 
zealous  champion  of  the  faith.  As  long  as  he  lived,  he 
practised  the  observances  of  Islam,  and  looked  upon  way 
against_the  _  Hindus  as  a  religious  duty.  His  love  of 
justice  was  unequalled.  The  claims  of  birth,  rank,  or 
kinship  were  nothing  in  his  eyes,  and  on  one  occasion,  he 
had^his  son-in-law  publicly  executed  in  the  bazar  in  cir- 
cumstances^of"  exceptional  barbarity  for  the  murder  of*  an 
innocent  person.  The  author  of  the 

justly  observes  that  the  ''effect  of  this  exemplary  punish- 
ment lasted  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of  the  Sultan's 
reign,  and  no  noble  or  soldier  was  concerned  in  murder." 

Ahmad  Shah  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Muhammad  Shah 
who  was  styled  as  "  Zar  bakhsha  "  or  "  bestower^olgold." 
He  marched  against  Champanir,  but  the  Raja  called  in  the 
aid  of  the  ruler  of  Malwa,  and  the  combined  armies  of  Malwa 
and  Ghampanir  put  him  to  flight.  His  nobles  conspired 
against  him  and  caused  his  death  by  poison  in  1451.  His 
son  Qutb-ud-din,  who  was  placed  upon  the  throne,  spent 
a  large  part  of  his  time  in  expeditions  against  the  Rana  of 
Chittor.  After  a  short  reign  of  eight  years  and  a  half,  he 
died  in  1459,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  uncle  Daud,  a 


notorious  profligate,  who  by  his  meanness  of  character  so 
offended  the  nobles  that,  within  a  week  of  his  accession  to 
the  throne,  they  deposed  him  and  installed  in  his  place  Fatah 
Khan,  a  grandson  of  Ahmad  Shah,  under  the  title  of  Mah- 
mud,  commonly  known  as  Mahmud  Bigarha,  in  1458  A.D. 

Mahmud  Bigarha  may  rightly  be  called  the  greatest  of 

the  Gujarat  kings.    The  author  of  the  Mirat-i-Sikandari 

M  a  h  mud     gives  a  highly  amusing  account  of  his  habits 

Bigarha,    1458      . 

—  1611  A  D.        m  these  words  :  — 

"  Notwithstanding  his  high  dignity  and  royalty,  he 
had  an  enormous  appetite.  The  full  daily  allowance  of 
food  for  the  Sultan  was  one  man  of  Gujarat  weight. 
In  eating  this  he  put  aside  five  sirs  of  boiled  rice,  and 
before  going  to  sleep  he  used  to  make  it  up  into  a  pasty 
and  place  one-half  of  it  on  the  right-hand  side  of  his 
couch  and  the  other  half  on  the  left,  so  that  on 
whichever  side  he  awoke  he  might  find  something 
to  eat,  and  might  then  go  to  sleep  again.  In  the 
morning  after  saying  his  prayers,  he  took  a  cup  full  of 
honey  and  a  cup  of  butter  with  a  hundred  or  a  hundred 
and  fifty  golden  plantains.  He  often  used  to  say,  '  If 
God  had  not  raised  Mahmud  to  the  throne  of  Gujarat, 
would  have  satisfied  his  hunger  ?  '  " 

Mahmud  was  a  brave  and  warlike  prince.  He  rescued 
Nizam  Shah  Bahmani  from  Mahmud  Khilji  of  Malwa  and 
•compelled  the  Rai  of  Junagarh  to  acknowledge  his  authority. 
He  suppressed  the  pirates  who  infested  the  sea-coast  of 
Gujarat,  and  secured  the  submission  of  the  Hindu 
-chief.  The  Rajputs  of  Champanir  were  the  next  to  submit, 
-and  the  fort  was  surrendered  to  the  Muslims  in  1484. 
Mahmud  built  a  wall  round  the  town  of  Champanir  in 


•commemoration  of  his  victory,  and  renamed  it  Muhammad- 

Towards  the  close  of  his  reign  in  1507  he  led  an  ex- 
pedition against  the  Portuguese,  who  had  securely  estab- 
lished themselves  on  the  Western  Coast,  and 
cutoff  the  trade  of  the  Muslims.  He  allied 
himself  with  the  Sultan  of  Turkey,  who  with 
a  view  to  put  an  end  to  the  Portuguese  interference  with 
ovejland  trade  fitted  out  a  fleet  of  twelve  ships,  and  des- 
patched 15,000  men,  commanded  by  Mir  Hozem,  to  attack 
their  possessions  in  India.  The  Portuguese  at  last  obtained 
a  victory  which  established  their  power  on  the  sea-coast  and 
gave  them  an  undisputed  command  of  the  sea-borne  trade. 

After  a  glorious  reign  of  52  years,  the  Sultan  died  in 
1511.  He  was  a  great  monarch  ;  his  personal  habits  be- 
came known  even  in  Europe.  As  long  as  he  lived,  he 
ruled  with  great  ability  and  vigour,  and  the  Muslim  chro- 
nicler speaks  of  his  reign  in  these  words  :— 

"He  added  glory  and  lustre  to  the  kingdom  of  Guja- 
rat, and  was  the  best  of  all  the  Gujarat  kings,  including 
all  who  preceded,  and  all  who  succeeded  him  ;  and 
whether  for  abounding  justice  and  generosity  ;  for  suc- 
cess in  religious  war,  and  for  the  diffusion  of  the  laws 
of  Islam  and  of  Musalmans  ;  for  soundness  of  judgment, 
alike  in  boyhood,  in  manhood,  and  in  old  age ;  for  power, 
for  valour,  and  victory.— he  was  a  pattern  of^exceHence." 

The  next  ruler  of  importance  was  Bahadur  Shah  who 

-came  to  the  throne  in  1526.  A.D.  He  was  a  brave  and  warlike 

B  a  h  a  d  u  r    ro^er-  Soon  after  his    accession  he  entered 

*Shah,    1526—     upon  a  brilliant  career  of  conquest  and  an- 

1587  A.D  nexation.  He  captured  Mandu  and  Chanderi 


and  stormed  the  fort  of  Chittor  in  1534.  Bahadur's  ambition* 
alarmed  Humayun  who  marched  against  him,  captured 
Mandu  and  Champanir,  and  occupied  Gujarat.  But  Bahadur 
who  was  a  capable  military  leader  soon  collected  a  large 
force,  and  with  its  help  defeated  the  imperialists,  and  reco- 
vered Gujarat.  His  attempt  to  expel  the  Portuguese  from  the 
island  of  Diu  met  with  failure.  They  conspired  against  him 
and  had  him  barbarously  murdered  on  board  ship,  when  he 
was  barely  31  years  of  age.  After  Bahadur's  death,  Gujarat 
fell  into  a  state  of  anarchy  and  disorder.  Rival  factions 
set  up  puppet  kings  who  followed  one  another  in  rapid 
succession.  Such  disorders  continued  until  the  annexation 
of  the  province  to  the  Mughal  empire  by  Akbar  in  1572. 

When  Firuz  undertook  his  second  expedition  against 

Sikandar  Shah  of  Bengal  in  1359-60  A.D.,  he  was  obliged  to 

halt  at  Zafrabad l  during  the  rains.    It   was 


there  that  he  conceived  the  idea  of  founding 
a  town  in  the  neighbourhood  which  might  serve  as  a 
£2iMj?l  appm  for  his  military  operations  in  Bengal. 
On  the  bank  of  the  river  Gumti  he  caused  a  new  town 
to  be  built,  which  was  named  Jaunpur  to  commemorate 
the  name  of  his  illustrious  cousin,  Muhammad^Juna, 
and  spared  no  pains  to  make  it  beautiful  and  attractive. 
After  the  death  of  Firuz  in  1388,  nothing  of  importance 

J  Zafrabad  was  an  old  town.     The   inscription   on   the    gate    of  the 
palace  of  Hazarat-i-Chiragh-i-Hind   shows   that   the   name   was    known 
in  721  A.H.  in  the  time  of   Ghiy&s-ud-din   Tughluq,  king   of   Delhi.  It  is 
a  mistake  to  think  that  the  town  was  founded  by  Prince  Zafar,  governor- 
of  Firuz  Tughluq,  in  1360  A.D. 

The  last  line  of  the  inscription  runs  thus  :  <k  As  the  city  was  acquir- 
ed by  conquest  and  re-peopled,  it  was  given  the  name  of  Zafrabad." 

Fasih-ud-din,  "The  Sharqi  Monuments  of  Jaunpur,"  p.  105  (Inscrip- 
tion No.  1 ) 

Also  see  FQhrer's  note  on  Zafrabad  in  4*  The  Sharqi  Architecture  ol" 
Jaunpur,"  pp.  64—66. 


occurred  in  the  history  of  Jaunpur  until  the  rise  to  power 
of  Khwaj5  Jahan  in  the  reign  of  Muhammad.  KhwSjS 
Jahan,  whose  real  name  was  Sarwar,  was  a  eunuch,  who 
•had  attained  to  high  position  by  sheer  dint  of  merit.  The 
title  of  Khwaja  Jahan  was  conferred  upon  him  in  1389,  and 
he  was  elevated  to  the  rank  of  a  wazir.  A  little  later, 
when  the  affairs  of  the  fiefs  of  Hindustan  fell  into  con- 
fusion through  the  turbulence  of  the  "base  infidels," 
Khwaja  Jahan  received  from  Mahmud  Tughluq  in  1394  the 
title  of  "  Malik-us-sharq  "  or  lord  of  the  east,  and  the 
administration  of  all  Hindustan  from  Kanauj  to  Bihar  was 
entrusted  to  him.  Forthwith,  the  new  governor  marched 
into  the  interior  of  the  Doab,  and  suppressing  the  rebellions 
in  Etawah,  Kol,  and  Kanauj,  proceeded  to  Jaunpur  to 
assume  charge  of  his  office.  In  a  short  time  he  brought 
under  his  sway  the  fiefs  of  Kanauj,  Kara,  Oudh,  Sandila, 
Dalmau,  Bahraich,  Bihar,  and  Tirhut,  and  subdued  the 
refractory  Hindu  chieftains.  So  great  was  his  power  that^ 
/the  Rai  of  Jajnagar  and  the  ruler  of  Lakhnauti  acknow^, 
ledged  his  authority,  and  sent  him  the  number  of  elephants 
which  they  had  formerly  sent  as  tribute  to  Delhi.  The 
confusion  and  anarchy  caused  by  Timur's  invasion  favoured 
the  KhwSja's  ambitious  plans,  and  he  declared  himself  inde- 
pendent, and  assumed  the  title  of  Atabak-i-Azam. 

The  most  remarkable  ruler  of  Jaunpur  was^Ibrahim,  a 
man  of  versatile  talents  who  called  himself  Shams-ud-din 
Ibrahim  Shah  Sharqi.  Mahmud  Tughluq  who  was  a  puppet 
in  the  hands  of  Iqbal  Khan  wished  to  escape  from  the  latter's 
galling  tutelage.  While  Iqbal  was  encamped  at  Kanauj, 
"Mahmud  effected  his  escape  under  the  pretext  of  going 
on  a  hunting  excursion,  approached  Ibrahim,  and  solicited 
.his  aid  against  Iqbal.  But  Ibrahim  made  no  response  to 


his  appeal.  Thus  disappointed  and  humiliated,  Mahmud  re- 
turned to  the  Delhi  army,  and  quietly  took  possession  of 
Kanauj.  Iqbal  Khan  made  an  attempt  to  recover  the  place, 
but  Mahmud  offered  successful  resistance  in  1405. 

Iqbal's  unexpected  death  in  a  battle  against  Khizr  Khan, 
the  governor  of  Multan,  left  the  field  clear  for  Mahmud, 
and  some  of  the  Amirs  at  Delhi  invited  him  to  take  charge 
of  government.  Ibrahim  judged  it  a  favourable  opportu- 
nity to  recover  his  lost  fief  of  Kanauj,  but  he  was  opposed 
by  the  Delhi  army,  and  withdrew  to  Jaunpur.  Mahmud 
returned  to  Delhi,  but  no  sooner  was  his  back  turned  than 
Ibrahim  mobilised  his  forces,  and  captured  Kanauj  after  a 
siege  of  four  months.  Success  emboldened  him  to  carry 
his  inroads  into  the  Delhi  territory  in  H07,  but  the  news 
of  the  advance  of  Muzaffar  Shah  of  Gujarat,  who  had  over- 
powered the  ruler  of  Dhar,  compelled  him  to  abandon  the 
conquered  districts  of  Sambhal  and  Bulandshahar  and  to* 
return  to  Jaunpur.  Soon  afterwards  Ibrahim  marched  against 
Qadr  Khan  of  Kalpi,  but  he  had  to  abandon  the  siege.  Mean- 
while a  great  change  was  brought  about  in  Delhi  politico 
by  Khizr  Khan's  elevation  to  the  throne  on  May  23, 1414. 

Ibrahim  was  a  great  lover  of  art  and  letters.  He 
extended  his  patronage  to  eminent  scholars  who  made 
Jaunpur  a  famous  seat  of  learning  in  the  east.  The  insecur- 
ity of  life  which  followed  the  invasion  of  Timur  drove  many 
distinguished  literary  men  to  his  court,  the  most  widely 
known  of  whom  was  Shihab-ul-din  Malik-ul-ulama,  who 
dedicated  several  of  his  works  to  his  generous  patron.  The 
long  interval  of  peace  enabled  the  Sultan  to  construct 
beautiful  buildings  to  adorn  his  capital.  The  Atala  mosque 
was  finished  in  1408,  which  stands  to  this  day  as  a 
monument  of  Ibrahim's  magnificent  tastes. 


But  peace  did  not  last  long.  The  peculiar  circumstances 
of  the  time  rapidly  brought  about  a  collision  between  Delhi 
and  Jaunpur,  Ibrahim  and  his  successors  contended  for 
years  against  the  rulers  of  Delhi  ;  and  these  wars  will  be 
described  in  their  proper  place. 

It  was  the  timid  policy  of  Piruz  Tughluq  which  had 

brought  about  the  separation  of  Bengal  from  the  empire  of 

Delhi.     The  wars  between  Firuz  and  Shams- 

enga '  ud-din  and  his  successor  Sikandar  Shah  have 

been  described  before.    Although  these  rulers  occasionally 

sent  presents  to  the  Sultan  of  Delhi,  they  were  in  reality 


The  establishment  of  the  power  of  the  Husaini  dynasty 
opened  a  new  era  in  Bengal.  The  first  ruler  of  the  dynasty 
Husain  Shah  (1493—1519)  was  a  man  of  ability  who  governed 
the  country  wisely  and  well.  He  fully  consolidated  his 
authority  in  the  various  provinces  of  his  kingdom  so  that  not 
a  single  rebellion  broke  out  during  his  reign.  He  built 
mosques,  and  founded  other  charitable  institutions,  and 
granted  pensions  to  learned  and  pious  men.  His  son  Nusrat 
Shah  who  came  to  the  throne  after  his  death  was  an  equally 
remarkable  ruler.  He  enlarged  the  boundaries  of  his  king- 
dom by  conquest  and  annexation,  and  became  a  prince  of 
substance  in  the  country. 

Babar  in  his  Memoirs  mentions  him  among  the  power- 
ful princes  of  Hindustan.  Like  his  father,  Nusrat  was  fond 
of  learning  and  took  great  interest  in  architecture.  He  built 
several  mosques,  which  are  known  to  this  day  for  their 
beauty  and  massive  design.  After  the  decline  of  the  inde- 
pendent dynasty  of  Bengal  kings,  power  passed  into  the 
hands  of  the  Afghans.  Sher  Shah  made  himself  master  of 
the  east  after  defeating  the  Mughal  Emperor  Humayun* 


and  fully  established  his  authority  in  Bihar  and  Bengal. 
In  the  10th  and  15th  centuries  there  was  much  religious  stir 
in  Bengal.  Ibn  Batutg,  the  Moor  who  travelled  in  Bengal 
in  the  fourteenth  century,  speaks  of  150  gaddis  of  faqirs  in 
Bengal  in  Fakhr-ud-din's  time.  It  was  during  this  period 
that  the  impact  of  Hinduism  and  Islam  set  in  motion  the 
new  forces  which  tended  to  bring  the  Hindus  and  Muslims 
together,  and  gave  a  new  colour  to  Hindu  religion.  The 
•cult  of  Vaignavism  made  great  progress  in  Bengal,  and  when 
Chaitanya  appeared  upon  the  scene  it  prospered  wonder- 
fully. He  preached  the  doctrine  of  Bhakti  or  personal  devo- 
tion, and  by  his  inspiring  personality  electrified  the  souls 
of  his  disciples  and  admirers.  Krisna's  name  was  chanted 
all  over  Bengal,  and  the  numerous  men  and  women  who 
responded  to  the  master's  call  ignored  all  social  distinctions, 
and  became  united  by  the  bond  of  love. 

The  new  forces,  as  has  been  said  before,  tended  to 
•bring  about  a  rapprochement  between  the  Hindus  and 

Husain  Shah  of  Bengal  was  the  founder  of  a  new  cult 
called  ^oiaflaziLwhich  aimed  at  uniting  the  Hindus  and  the 
Muslims.  Satyapir  was  coHfi922S2£  of  ^a^a»  a  Sanskrit 
word,  and  PIT  which  is  an  rffaKftword.  It  was  the  name 
Df  a  deity  whom  both  communities  were  to  worship. 
There  are  still  in  Bengali  literature  several  poems  composed 
in  honour  of  this  new  deity. 

The  province  of  Khandesh  was  situated  in  the  valley 

)f  the  Tapti  river ;  it  was  bounded  in  the  north  by  the 

Khandesh        Vindhya  and  Satpura  ranges  and  in  the  sduth 

by  the  Deccan  plateau,  in  the  east  by  Berar 

_md  in  the  west  by  the  subah  of  Gujarat.    It  was  a  part 

•of  Muhammad  Tughluq's  empire,  and  continued  to  be  a 


feudatory  of  Delhi  during  the  reign  of  Firuz,  who  entrusted 
it  to  Malik  Raja  Farrukhi,  one  of  his  personal  attendants 
in  the  year  1370.  After  the  death  of  Firuz,  when  the 
empire  of  Delhi  broke  up,  Malik  Raja,  a  man  of  adventurous 
and  ambitious  spirit,  declared  his  independence.  He  was 
a  broad-minded  ruler,  who  treated  the  Hindus  well,  and 
tried  to  promote  the  welfare  of  his  subjects.  After  his 
death  in  1399,  he  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Malik  Nfisir, 
who  captured  the  famous  fortress  of  Asirgarh  from  AsS 
Ahlr,  a  chieftain  of  considerable  power.  Malik  NBsir 
maintained  a  firm  hold  over  the  territories  he  had  inherited 
from  his  father,  and  when  he  died  in  1437,  he  left  to  his 
successor  a  united  Khandesh.  The  princes  who  followed  him, 
possessed  no  ability,  and  during  their  nftigns  the  fortunes 
of  Khandesh  rapidly  declined.  After  the  death  of  5dil, 
one  of  Nasir's  grandsons,  in  1520,  a  series  of  weak  rulers 
followed  who  found  it  difficult  to  resist  the  encroachments 
of  foreign  powers.  The  latter  took  full  advantage  of  the 
weakness  of  the  central  power  and  the  factious  fights  of 
the  nobles.  In  1601  the  fortress  of  Asirgarh  was  conquered 
by  Akbar,  and  Khandesh  was  annexed  to  the  empire.  The 
local  dynasty  ceased  to  exist. 

(ii)  The  Bahmani  Kingdom 

The  break-up  of  the  empire  during  Muhammad's  reign 
led  the  Amirs  of  the  Deccan  to  revolt  and  set  up  an  inde- 
pendent kingdom  at  Daulatabad  with  Ismail 
The  rise  of    Makh  as  their  king.  Ismail,  being  a  man  of 
retired  habits,  resigned  in  favour  of  Hasan,  a 
brave  soldier  who  was  elected  king  In  1347. 
Firishta  relates  that  Hasan  was  originally  employed  in  the 

F.  18 


service  of  Gangu,  a  Brahman  astrologer  of  Delhi,  yho  gn- 
jpyed  the  confidence  of  Sultan  Muhammad  Tuqhfria.  One 
day  while  Hasan  was  ploughing  the  land  of  his  master,  he 
came  across  &  pot  full  nf  gold  coins  whifth  he  at  once  made 
over  to  his  master.  The  Brahman  was  so  pleased  with 
Hasan's  honesty  that  he  recommended  him  to  Sultan 
Muhammad  who  employed  hinn  fr  *"«  a*™i<*f>  The  Brahman 
predicted  a  great  deatfnv  far  Haa^  and  expressed  a  wish, 
that  when  he  was  elevated  to  royal  dignity,  he  should 
appoint  him  as  his  minister.  To  this  Hasan  agreed,  and 
when  he  was  elevated  to  the  kingly  office,  he  asa^mgd 
title  Bahmani  OUt  of  gratefulneaa  to  hia  ol^ 

Modern  research  has  exploded  Firishta's  error,  and  the 
view  now  generally  accepted  is  that  Hasan  was  descended 
from  Bahman  bin  Isfandiyar,  king  of  Persia.  He  called 
himself  a  descendant  of  Bahmanshah,  and  this  name  is 
inscribed  on  his  coins.  ' 

He  chose  Gulbarga  as  his  capital.  The  whole  country 
was  divided  into  larafs  which  were  assigned  to  the  Amirs 
who  had  rendered  him  good  service  in  the  recent  war.  Each 
of  these  Amirs  was  granted  a  jagir  on  feudal  tenure  and 
had  to  render  military  service  to  the  king.  Hasan  now  em- 
barked upon  a  brilliant  career  of  conquest.  The  fort  of 
Qandhar  was  recovered,  ana  ms  otricer,  Sikandar  Khan, 
reduced  Bidarand  Malkaid.  Groa,  Dab  hoi,  Kolapur,  and 
Telingana  were  all  conquered,  and  towards  the  close  of  his 
reign  his  dominions  extended  from  the  east  of  Daulatabad  to 

1  The  author  of  the  Burhvn-i-Mdair  clearly  states  that  Hasan  traced 
his  pedigree  from  Bahman  bin  Isfandiyar.  He  is  supported  by  Nizam- 
uddin  Ahmad,  the  author  of  the  Tabqot-i-Akbari,  Ahmad  Amin  Raai, 
tbfe  author  of  the  Haft-lqUm  and  Haji-ud-Dabir,  the  author  of  the 
Arabic  History  of  Gujarat.  This  statement  is  also  supported  by  the 
eridenoe  of  inscriptions  and  coins, 


Bhongir  now  in  the  Nizam's  dominions  and  from  the  river 
Wainganga  in  the  north  to  the  river  KrisnS  in  the  south. 
The  pressure  of  unremitting  exertions  told  upon  his  health, 
and  he  died  m  1359.    He  was  succeeded  by  Muhammad 
Shah  I,  whom  he  had  nominated  as  his  heir  on  his  death-bed. 
He  continued  his  father's  policy  of  conquest.     The 
principal  event  of  his  reign  was  the  war  with  the  neighbour- 
ing Hindu    kingdoms  of  Vijayanagar    and 
Telingana.    He  defeated  the    Hindus    who 
fought  with  great  courage  and  determination. 
Their  country  was  plundered,  and  temples  were  razejd  to  the 
ground.    Muhammad  enjoyed  peace  for  about  a  cl^caae.  But 
the  barbarous  execution  of  the  Telingana  Prince  for  a  trivial 
offence  again  lit  up  the  flames  of  war.    The  Hindus  would 
not  tamely  submit,  and  after  a  prolonged  fight  of  two  years 
a  peace  was  made,   and  the  Raja  agreed  to  surrender  the 
fort  of  Golkunda  and  to  pay  a  huge  war  indemnity  of  33 
lakhs.  Golkunda  was  fixed  as  the  boundary  line  between  the 
two  kingdoms.  Soon  afterwards  war  with  Vijayanagar  broke 
out,   which  assumed  formidable  dimensions.    The  humilia- 
tion of  a  Gulbarga  messenger  who  had  came  to  demand 
mone^r  from  Vijayanagar  was  the  immediate  cause  of  the 

The  Raja  of  Vijayanagar  took  the  offensive,  marched 
into  the  Sultan's  territory  at  the  head  of  30,000  horse, 
100,000  foot,  and  300  elephants,  and  laid  waste  the  country 
between  the  KrignS  and  the  Tungabhadra.  The  fort  of 
Mudgal  was  captured,  and  the  Muslim  garrison  was  put  to 
the  sword.  Muhammad  took  an  oath  to  take  a  terrible 
revenge,  and  marched  at  the  head  of  a  huge  army  upon 
Vijayanagar.  He  enticed  the  Hindu  forces  out  of  the  fort 
by  a  clever  stratagem,  and  inflicted  a  terrible  defeat  upon 


them.  The  Raja's  camp  was  raided,  though  he  effect- 
ed his  escape,  but  his  soldiers  and  officers  as  well  as  the 
inhabitants  of  the  neighbourhood  were  butchered  by  the 
ruthless  Muslim  soldiers.  Peace  was  at  last  made  with  the 
Raja  of  Vijayanagar,  and  the  Sultan  took  an  oath  never  to 
shed  the  blood  of  innocent  men  in  the  future?^ 

Muhammad  Shah  acted  ruthlessly  in  carrying  out  his 
domestic  policy.  He  ordered  all  public  distilleries  to  be 
closed  and  put  down  lawlessness  with  a  high  hand.  After 
a  reign  of  17  years  and  7  months  he  died  in  1373  and  was 
succeeded  by  his  son  Mujfihid  Shah. 

MujBhid  showed  a  great  preference  for  the  Persians 
and  the  Turks,  and  thus  by  his  policy  of  exclusion  he  re- 
vived the  old  feuds  and  jealousies  between 
the  Deccanis  and  the  foreigners,  which  had 
wrecked  the  government  of  Muhammad  Tugh- 
luq.  But  the  most  important  problem  of  the  time  was,  as 
usual,  war  with  Vijayanagar  over  the  possession  of  the 
Raichur  Doab,  and  the  forts  of  Raich ur  and  Mudgal.  He 
marched  twice  on  Vijayanagar,  but  had  to  retreat  on 
both  occasions  on  account  of  the  combination  of  the  Hindus. 
Peace  was  concluded,  but  the  Sultan  was  murdered  by 
his  cousin,  Daud,  who  usurped  the  throne  in  1377.  He 
in  his  turn  was  murdered  in  the  following  year  by  a 
slave,  hired  by  Ruh  Parwar  Agha,  the  foster-sister  of 

After  Daud's  death,  Muhammad  Shah  II  came  to  the 
throne  in  1378.    He  was  a  man  of  peace.    The  cessation  of 
war  enabled  him  to  devote  his  time  to  the  pursuit  of 
literature  and  science.  He  built  mosques,  established  public  . 
schools  and  monasteries,  and  never  allowed  anyone  to  act  j 
against  the  Holy  Law.    No  rebellion  occurred  during  his 


reign,  and  the  nobles  and  officers  all  loyally  served  their 
master.  The  Sultan  evinced  a  great  interest  in  the  welfare 
of  his  subjects  ;  and  once  when  famine  broke  out,  he 
employed  ten  thousand  bullocks  to  bring  grain  from  Malwa 
and  Gujarat  to  mitigate  its  severity.  In  the  last  year  of 
his  life  his  sons  conspired  to  seize  the  throne.  He  died  in 
1397  and  was  succeeded  by  his  sons  who  were  deprived  of 
sovereignty  after  a  brief  period  of  six  months  by  Firuz, 
a  grandson  of  Sultan  Alauddin  Hasan  Shah.  Firuz  came 
to  Gulbarga,  and  with  the  help  of  the  nobles  and  officers 
seized  the  throne  in  February  1397. 

The  author  of  the  Burhfin-i-Mcteir  describes  him  as 
"  a  good,  just  and  generous  king  who  supported  himself  by 
copying  the  Quran,  and  the  ladies  of  whose! 
haram  used  to  support  themselves  by  embroi- 1 
dering  garments  and  selling  them."  The 
same  authority  further  says  : — "  As  a  ruler  he  was  without 
an  equal,  and  many  records  of  his  justice  still  remain  on  the 
page  of  time/'  But  this  seems  to  be  an  exaggeration,  for 
Firishta  clearly  states,  that  although  he  observed  the  prac- 
tices of  his  religion  with  strictness,  he  drank  hard,  was 
passionately  fond  of  music,rgnd  n^intairajL  a  large  haram 
which  included  women  of  s^pt^niauoh^alit^s.  It  is  said 
that  about  800  women  were  daiiy^dmiitecr  into  the  royal 
seraglio  by  means  of  muta  marriage.  Frank  and  jovial  to  a 
degree,  Firuz  took  delight  in  social  intercourse,  and  treated 
his  companions  without  the  slightest  reserve,  but  he  never 
allowed  public  matters  to  be  discussed  at  such  convivial 

As  usual,  struggle  with  Vijayanagar  began  for  the  pos- 
session of  the  fort  of  Mudgal  in  1898.  HariHar  II  marched 
an  army  into  the  Raichur  Doab.  Firuz  also  mobilised  his 


forces,  but  he  had  also  to  check  the  Raya  of  Kehrla* 
who  had  invaded  Berar.  The  Raya  was  defeated,  and  a 
treaty  was  made  which  restored  the  status  quo,  although 
the  Raya  had  to  pay  a  large  sum  as  ransom  for  the 
release  of  the  Brahman  captives  seized  during  the  war. 

The  war  was  renewed  again,  and  in  1419  Firuz  led  an 
unprovoked  attack  upon  the  fort  of  Pangal,  a  dependency 
of  Vijayanagar.  The  Sultan's  troops  were  defeated  owing 
to  the  outbreak  of  pestilence,  and  the  victorious  Hindus 
butchered  the  Musalmans  mercilessly,  ravaged  their 
country,  and  desecrated  their  mosques. 

Firuz  was  obliged  by  his  failing  health  to  leave  the 
affairs  of  state  in  the  hands  of  his  slaves.  His  brother 
Ahmad  Shah  became  the  most  powerful  man  in  the  king- 
dom towards  the  close  of  his  reign,  and  succeeded  to  the 
throne  after  his  death  in  1422. 

He  ascended  the  throne  without  opposition.  His 
minister  advised  him  to  put  to  death  the  late  Sultan's  son  in 
order  to  ensure  his  safety,  but  he  refused  to 
U&IH46 Shab'  doso»  and  provided  him  with  a  liberal  jagir 
at  Firuzabad,  where  the  prince  utterly  devoid 
of  any  political  ambition  frittered  away  his  time  in  the 
pursuit  of  pleasure.  He  waged  war  against  Vijayanagar 
and  mercilessly  put  to  death  men,  women,  and  children  to- 
the  number  of  20,000.  This  cruelty  of  Ahmad  Shah  so  ex- 
asperated the  Hindus  that  they  determined  to  take  his  life  ; 
and  when  he  was  engaged  in  a  hunting  excursion,  they 
chased  him  with  tremendous  fury,  but  he  was  saved  by 
his  armour-bearer,  Abdul  Qadir.  Ahmad  Shah  now  reduced 
the  people  of  Vijayanagar  to  such  distress  that  Deva  Raya 
was  compelled  to  sue  for  peace.  He  agreed  to  pay  all 
arrears  of  tribute,  and  sent  his  son  with  30  elephants,  laden 


with  money,  jewels  and  other  articles  of  untold  value  to 
the  royal  camp. 

In  1424  he  defeated  the  Raja  of  Warangal,  and  annexed 
a  large  portion  of  his  territory  to  his  own  dominions.  He 
also  defeated  the  Muslim  rulers  of  Malwa  and  the  neigh- 
bouring states,  massacred  a  large  number  of  men,  and 
captured  rich  booty.  ^^iAJU  *^X5UA  <wlw  ,^>. 

Hejajssumed  the  title  pi  JMFPoK  '  and  on  his  return  laid 
the  foundation  of  the  city  of  Bidar,  which  afterwards  became 
the  recognised  capital  of  the  Bahmani  kingdom.  In  1429* 
he  went  to  war  with  the  chiefs  of  the  Konkan,  and  fought 
an  indecisive  battle  with  the  ruler  of  Gujarat.  The 
last  expedition  of  the  reign  was  against  Telingana  to  put 
down  a  Hindu  revolt,  after  which  he  retired  from  public 
life  and  resigned  the  throne  to  his  son,  Prince  Zafar  Khan* 
He  died  of  illness  in  1435. 

Zafar  Khan  ascended  the  throne  under  the  title  of 
Alauddin  II.    He  began  his  reign  well,   but  later  on  his 
Aiauddin  ji,     character  degenerated,  and  he  spent  his  time 
1485—1467.         jn  debauchery  an(j  pleasure. 

His  brother,  Muhammad,  whom  he  treated  well,  rose 
in  rebellion  and  seized  the  Raichur  Doab,  Bijapur,  and 
other  districts  with  the  help  of  Vijayanagar.  But  he  was 
ultimately  defeated,  and  pardoned,  and  allowed  to  hold  the 
district  of  Raichur  as  jagir.  But  the  hereditary  enemy  of 
Alauddin  was  the  Raya  of  Vijayanagar  who  now  led  a 
wanton  attack  against  the  Sultan's  dominions.  At  first 
the  struggle  was  indecisive,  but  after  a  siege  lasting  for 
some  time,  Deva  Raya  agreed  to  pay  the  stipulated  tribute. 
The  administration  was  much  disturbed  by  the  feuds  of  the 
Deccani  Muslims,  who  were  mostly  Sunnis  and  foreigners 
like  the  Arabs,  Turks,  Persians,  and  Mughals  who 


professed  the  Shia  faith  and  thus  led  to  a  serious  crime. 
In  1454  Khalf  Hasan  Malik-ul-Tuj jSr  suffered  a  crushing 
defeat  at  the  hands  of  a  Hindu  chief  in  the  Konkan.  As 
the  party  were  moving  in  order  to  save  their  lives,  the 
Deccani  chief  led  the  Sultan  to  believe  that  they  meditated 
treason.  They  were  invited  to  a  feast  and  treacherously 
murdered.  Alauddin  died  in  1457. 

Alauddin  was  a  profligate,  but  he  did  not  wholly 
neglect  the  interests  of  his  subjects.  He  built  mosques, 
established  public  schools  and  charitable  institutions.  Order 
was  maintained  throughout  the  kingdom,  and  thieves  and 
brigands  were  severely  punished.  Though  not  deeply 
religious  himself,  he  strictly  enforced  the  observances  of 
the  faith,  and  respected  the  feelings  of  his  co-religionists. 

Alauddin  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son  Humayun.  He 
was  a  monster  of  cruelty.  He  might  well  be  praised  for  his 
,-  learning,  eloquence  and  wit,  but  at  the  same 
'  '"  t*me  we  wou^  regret  his  fierce  disposition. 
He  showed  no  compassion  in  shedding  blood. 
But  he  was  fortunate  in  securing  the  services  of  Mahmud 
GSwfin,  who  served  the  state  with  rare  fidelity  and  devotion 
to  the  last  day  of  his  life.  The  main  interest  of  his  reign 
lies  in  the  hideous  forms  of  cruelty  which  he  practised  with 
savage  brutality.  After  the  conspiracy  which  resulted  in 
the  release  of  his  brothers,  Hasan  and  Yahiya,  from  prison, 
he  caused  Hasan  in  his  own  presence  to  be  thrown  before 
a  Jerocious  tiger  who  instantly  killed  and  devoured  him. 
The  king's  ferocity  exceeded  all  bounds. 

In  October  1461,  Humayun  died  a  natural  death  ; 
but  according  to  Firishta  the  more  probable  account  is 
that  he  was  murdered  by  one  of  his  servants  in  a  state  of 


After  Humayun's  death  Nizam  was  selected  as  king 
by  Khwajja  Jahan^  Mahmud  Gawan,  and  the  queen-mother, 

who  was  one  of  the  most  remarkable  women 
I46i-63,8hah'     that   have   appeared    in    the    east.    Nizam, 

being  a  child  of  eight  years,  the  government 
itfas  in  the  hands  of  the  Dowage^^ 

Aided  by  Mahmud  GSwan,  she  set  at  liberty  all  the  innocent 
persons  who  had  been  thrown  into  prison  by  her  husband, 
and  reinstated  in  their  offices  all  the  servants  of  the  state 
who  had  been  dismissed  without  cause. 

She  repelled  an  attack  led  by  the  Rais  of  Orissa  and  Te- 
lingana  ;  but  when  Mahmud  Khilji  of  Malwa  occupied  Bidar, 
the  Deccan  army  under  Mahmud  Gawan  and  Khwaja  Jahan 
suffered  a  crushing  defeat  in  1461.  The  queen-mother 
secured  in  this  hour  of  need  the  assistance  of  the  ruler  of 
Gujarat  on  whose  approach  Mahmud  Khilji  retreated  to 
his  country.  A  second  attempt  by  Mahmud  Khilji  was 
unsuccessful  for  the  same  reason.  Nizam  Shah  died  jdl  of 
a  sudden  in  1463,  when  he  was  about  to  be  marriedZJwj^^ 
Muhammad  Shah,  brother  of  the  late  king,  was  selected 
by  the  nobles.  The  new  king  had  the  KhwSjS  JahBn 

murdered    on    account   of  the  embezzlement 

of  public  funds,  and  Mahmud  Gawan  became 

—82.      '  the  chief  authority  in  the  state.     He  had  un- 

limited power.  He  loyally  served  the  state 
for  several  years.  He  fought  wars,  subdued  countries,  and 
increased  the  Bahmani  dominions  to  an  extent  never 
reached  before.  He  was  sent  with  a  large  force  against 
the  Hindu  kingdom  of  Konkan,  and  compelled  the  chief  to 
surrender  the  fortress  of  Kalna,  the  modern  Visalgarh. 
He  also  compelled  the  Raja  of  Orissa  to  pay  tribute,  but 
the  most  remarkable  exploit  of  the  Sultan  was  the  raid  on 


Kanchi  or  Kanjivaram  in  the  course  of  acampaign  against 
Narasinha,  Raja  of  Vijayanagar.  The  city  was  captured, 
and  an  immense  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 

In  1474  a  severe  famine  occurred  in  the  Deccan  which 
is  known  as  the  Bijapur  famine.  InJ47p  jVthnasius  Niki^ 
tin,  a  Russian  merchant,  visited  Bidar.  He  has  made 
observations  regarding  the  country,  its  government  and  the 
people.  He  also  gives  a  description  of  the  Sultan's  hunting 
expeditions  and  his  palace. 

Mahmud  (jgwgir.  was  a_great  administrator.  In  spite 
of  the  feuds  between  the  Two  parties  in  the  kingdom — 
the  Deccanis  and  J;he  Iranls — which  were  a 
s^™6  of  £reat  tr°uble,  Mahmud  G§w5n  was 
able  to  carry  out  his  work  of  reform  with 
success.  No  department  seems  to  have  escaped  his  attention. 
He  organised  the  finances,  improved  the  administration  of 
justice,  encouraged  public  education,  and  instituted  a  survey 
of  village  lands  to  make  the  state  demand  of  revenue  just 
andjKjuitahte-  Corrupt  practices  were  put  down  ;  the  army 
was  reformed  ;  better  *%dl?liflft  wqq  Qr>^nr^dT  and  the  pros- 
pects  of  the  soldiers  were  improved . 

But  the  Deccanis  who  were  jealous  of  his  influence 
formed  a  conspiracy  against  him  and  forged  a  letter  of  trea- 
sonable contents,   purporting  to  have  been 
written  by  him  to  Narasinha  Raya.    The  king 
was  persuaded  to  have  him  murdered  as  a 

traitor,  in  a  fit  of  drunkenness.  Thus  passed  away  by  the 
gruel  hand  of  the  assassin  one  of  the  purest  characters  of 
the  age,  and  Meadows  Taylor  rightly  observes  that  with  him 
ieparted  all  the  cohesion  and  the  power  of  the  BahmanI 


Mahmud    GSwfin    was  one  of    the  most  remarkable 
nediseval  statesmen.     He  was  completely  devoted  to  the 
state,  and  served  it  all  his  life  with  great 
-     frkffity*  an<*  distinction.    Much  has  already 
been  said  about  his  public  career,  which  was 
s  full  of  unremitting  exertions  for  the  benefit  of 

t^e  state.  But  the  KhwajS  shone  better  in  private  life.  He 
loved  simplicity^  and  always  felt  for  the  poor.  All  Muslim 
chroniclers  agree  in  saving  that  he  was  courageous,  mag- 
nanimous, a  lover  of  justice  and  free  from  the  vices  common 
to  the  great  men  of  his  jge~ His  wants  were  few,  and  his* 
time  was  mostly  passed  in  the  company  of  scholars  and 
divines.  He  possessed  a  fine  library  in  his  college_at^ 
'Bidarwhich Contained  3,000  books..  After  the  day's  toil  the 
learned  Khwaja  repairedTto  the  college  in  the  evening,  and 
there  found  his  most  favourite  recreation  in  the  company 
of  learned  men.  He  was  well-versed  in  Mathematics,  the 
gftjffliM  of  Medicine,  literature,  and  was  a  mastgrof 
epistolary  styleA  Firishta  attributes  to  him  the  authorship  of 
two  works— thp  Rauzat-ul-Imha  and  the^iwan-i-ashr.  But 
although  the  KhwSja  was  pious  and  learned,  he  found  it 
difficult  to  rise  above  the  religious  prejudices  of  the  age,  and 
often  took  part  in  crusades  against  idolatry.  All  things 
said,  the  murder  of  such  a  devoted  servant  was  a  grave 
Jjlujldfir,  and  more  than  anything  else  it  accelerated  the 
ruin  of  the  BahmanLdynasty. 

luhammad  Shah  died  in  1482,  and  was  succeeded  by 
his  son  Mahmud  Shah  who  was  only  12  years  of  age.    He 
The  downfall    *urnec^  out  an  imbecile    and  spent  his  time  in 
oftheBahmani     merriment  and  revelry.    Disorders  increased 
kingdom.  Qn  ajj  Bftea^  an(j  provincial  governors  began 

to  declare   their  independence.     The  Bahmani  kingdom 


was  now  restricted  to  Bidar  and  the  provinces  near  the 
capital.  Amir  Barid,  the  new  minister,  was  the  virtual  ruler; 
he  kept  Mahmud  in  a  state  of  humiliating  dependence  upon 
himself.  After  Mahmud's  death  in  1518  the  Bahmani 
kingdom  practically  came  to  an  end. 

The  kingdom  broke  up  into  five  independent  principali- 
ties which  were  :— 

1.  The  Imad  Shahi  dynasty  of  Berar. 

2.  The  Nizam  Shahi  dynasty  of  Ahmadnagar. 

3.  The  Adil  Shahi  dynasty  of  Bijapur. 

4.  The  Qutb  Shahi  dynasty  of  Golkunda 

5.  The  Barid  Shahi  dynasty  of  Bidar 

The  Bahmani  dynasty  contained  in  all  fourteen  kings. 
Tney  were  with  a  few  exceptions  cruel  and  ferocious,  and 

never  hesitated  in  shedding  the  blood  of  the 
re-  Hindus.  The  founder  of  the  dynasty,  Hassan 

Kanga,  was  a  capable  administrator,  but  he 
too  was  relentless  in  his  attitude  towards  the  Hindus.  His 
successors  were  mostly  debauched  and  unprincipled  tyrants 
who  were  always  hampered  in  their  work  by  the  dissensions 
of  the  Deccani  and  foreign  Amirs.  Attempts  at  making  the 
administration  efficient  were  made  from  time  to  time,  but 
they  never  succeeded  except  perhaps  during  the  ministry  of 
Mahmud  GawSn.  The  Hindus  were  employed  by  the  state 
in  the  lower  branches  of  the  administration,  but  that  was 
inevitable  because  they  had  better  knowledge  and  expe- 
rience of  revenue  affairs.  JMahmud  GgwSn  reformed^the 
system  of  revenue,  and  allowed  the  agriculturists  to  pay 
their  dues  in  cash  or  kind.  Athnasius  Nikitin  says  that  the 
^country  was  populous,  the  lands  well  cultivated,  the  roads 
safe  from  robbers,  and  the  capital  ofjthe  kingdom,  amagni- 
Acent  city  with  parka  and  promenades.  The  nobles  lived  in 


great  magnificence,  but  the  lot  of  the  people  in  the  country 
was  hard  and  miserable.  It  is  from  his  remarks  that  Dr. 
Smith  draws  the  conclusion  that  the  country  must  have 
been  sucked  dry.  But  he  forgets  that  mediaeval  monarchs 
all  over  the  world  felt  no  scruples  in  spending  the  people's 
money  with  a  light  heart  on  personal  pleasures.  It  is 
true  the  Bahmanids  often  plundered  the  property  l>f  their 
enemies,  but  they  were  never  guilty  of  levying  oppressive 
exactions  even  in  the  time  of  war.  They  provided  facilities 
of  irrigation  for  the  development  of  agriculture  in  their 
dominions,  and  took  interest  in  the  welfare  of  the  peasantry. 
Some  of  them  were  patrons  of  arts  and  education,  and  made 
endowments  for  the  maintenance  of  the  learned  and  pious. 
They  were  not  great  builders.  The  only  things  worthy  of 
mention  are  the  city  of  Bidar,  which  was  full  of  beautiful 
buildings,  and  certain  forts  which  exist  to  this  day. 

In  judging  the  Bahmanids  it  would  be  unfair  to  apply 
to  their  conduct  the  standards  of  today.  Even  in  the 
West  in  the  fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries  religious 
persecution  was  the  order  of  the  day.  Religion  and  politics 
were  often  mixed  up,  and  ambitious  rulers  exploited 
religious  zeal  for  their  own  advantage.  If  we  keep  this 
fact  in  mind,  we  can  neither  accept  the  unqualified  praise 
which  Meadows  Taylor  bestows  upon  the  Bahmanids  nor 
their  wholesale  condemnation  which  is  to  be  found  in 
Dr.  Vincent  Smith's  Oxford  History  of  India. 


The   Jmad    Shahi    dynasty  was  founded  by  Fatah 

Ullah  Imad  Shah,  onginaHy  a  Hindu  from  Carnatic.    He 

made   a   name    in  the  service  of   Khan-i- 

Berar*  Jahan,  the  viceroy   of  Berar,  and  succeeded 


him.  He  was  the  first  to  declare  his  independence.  His 
•dynasty  ruled  till  1574,  when  it  was  incorporated  in  the 
Nizam  Shahi  dominions. 

The  Adil  Shahi  dynasty  was  founded  by  Yusuf  Adil 

Khan,     a  slave    purchased    by    Mahmud    Gawan.    But 

according     to     Firishta     he     was    a   son    of 

Bajapur.        ^^    ^^    n    Q£    Turkey  who  died  in  14gL 

When  his  eldest  brother  Muhammad  came  to  the  throne 
he  ordered  the  expulsion  of  all  the  male  children  of  the 
late  Sultan  ;  but  Yusuf  was  saved  by  the  tact  of  his 
mother.  He  rose  to  high  rank  through  the  favour  of  his 
patron,  Mahmud  Gawan*  He  declared  his  independence 
in  1489. 

His  formidable  enemy  Qasim  Barid  incited  the  Raya 
of  Vijayariagar  to  declare  war  upon  Bijapur.  But 
Narasinha  suffered  a  defeat.  In  1495  he  helped  Qasim 
Barid  in  defeating  Dastur  Dinar,  the  governor  of 
Gulburga,  who  had  revolted.  But  he  managed  to  have 
Oulburga  restored  to  him  and  saved  his  life.  Yusuf 
was  anxious  to  obtain  Gulburga  for  himself.  Qasim  was 
defeated,  and  his  defeat  greatly  enhanced  the  prestige  of 
Ali  Adil  Shah.  In  1502  he  declared  the  Shia  creed  to  be 
the  religion  of  the  state,  but  granted  perfect  toleration 
to  the  Sunnis.  Nevertheless/  the  neighbouring  powers 
joined  against  him.  He  fled  to  Berar,  restored  the  Sunni 
faith,  and  withdrew  to  Khandesh. 

Meanwhile  Imadul-Mulk  wrote  to  the  allies  that  Amir 
Barid  was  using  them  for  his  own  selfish  end.  So  the 
Sultans  of  Ahmadnagar  and  Golkunda  left  the  field.  Amir 
Barid,  left  alone,  was  defeated  by  Yusuf,  who  entered 
Bijapu*  in  triumph.  Yusuf  Adil  Shah  is  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  rulers  of  the  Deccan.  He  was  a  patron  of 


letters,  and  learned  men  from  Persia,  Turkistan,  and  Rum 
<came  to  his  court  and  enjoyed  his  bounty.  He  was  free  from 
•bigotry,  and  religion  in  his  eyes  was  no  bar  to  public  employ- 
ment. Firishta  says  that  he  was  'handsome  in  person, 
eloquent  in  speech,  and  eminent  for  his  learning,  liberality, 
and  valour.' 

Yusuf  Adil  was  followed  by  Ismail  who  was  only  nine 
years  of  age  at  the  time  of  his  accession.  The  affairs  of 

.1  01  ^       the  state  were  managed  by  KamSl  Khan,  an 

Ismail  Shah. 

officer  of  the  late  king,  but  he  proved  a 
traitor.  His  designs  were  frustrated  by  the  queen-mother 
who  had  him  assassinated  by  a  slave.  Ismail  now  took  the 
reins  of  government  in  his  own  hands.  But  he  had  to  fight 
against  Vijayanagar  and  Ahmadnagar.  He  was  victorious  in 
all  his  wars,  and  recovered  possession  of  the  Raichur 
Doab  from  Vijayanagar.  Ismail  died  in  1534,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Mallu  Adil  Shah,  but  he  was  blinded  and 
dethroned.  After  him  his  brother  Ibrahim  was  proclaimed 

He    first  restored  the  Sunni  faith  and  replaced  all 
foreigners  in  his  service  by  the  Deccanis  and  Abyssinians. 
He  defeated  the  rulers  of  Bidar,   Ahmadna- 
gar,  and  Golkunda  and  displayed  commend- 
able energy,  but  debauchery  soon  brought 
about  his  ruin.    He  fell  ill  and  died  in  1557.  ,  He  was 
succeeded  by  Ali  Adil  Shah. 

The  new  Sultan  restored  the  Shia  faith  and  his  policy 

caused  discontent  in  the  country.       With  the    help    of 

the    Raya  of  Vijayanagar  he  ravaged  the 

Bhih. A  d  *  l     Ahmadnagar  territory  in  1658.    The  Hindus 

perpetrated    the    most    horrible    excesses 

which   disgusted  even  their  ally  Ali  Adil.    The  growing 


power  of  Vijayanagar  seemed  to  be  a  menace  to  the 
existence  of  the  Muslim  monarchies.  Bijapur,  Bidar, 
Ahmadnagar,  Golkunda  combined  against  Vijayanagar 
and  defeated  Ram  Raya  at  Talikota  in  1565.  Ali  Adil  w as- 
assassinated  in  1579. 

The  heir  to  the  throne  was  a  minor,  and  the  govern- 
ment was  carried  on  by  his  mother  Chand  Bibi  who  is  so 
famous  in  Indian  history.  Ibrahim  was  suc- 
cessful  in  a  war  with  Ahmadnagar  in  1594, 
when  the  Sultan  was  slain  in  battle.  He  died 
in  1626.  He  was  the  most  remarkable  ruler  of  his  dynasty* 
The  Adil  Shahis  fought  long  and  hard  against  the 
Mughals,  and  Bijapur  was  finally  annexed  to  the  empire 
in  1686  by  Aurangzeb. 

The  Nizam  Shahi  dynasty  was  founded  by  Nizamul- 

mulk  Bahri,    the  leader  of  the   Deccan  party  at  Bidar. 

After    Mahmud     Gawan's    death,    he  was. 

Ahmadnagar.  .  , 

appointed  minister.  His  son  Malik  Ahmad 
was  appointed  governor  of  Junir.  He  intended  to  join, 
his  son,  but  his  plans  were  foiled  by  the  governor  of  Bidar, 
who  had  him  strangled  to  death  with  the  king's  per- 
mission. Malik  Ahmad  declared  his  independence  in  1498, 
and  transferred  his  court  to  Ahmadnagar.  He  obtained 
possession  of  Daulatabad  in  1499  after  a  hard  fight.  On 
his  death  he  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Burhan  Nizam 

Burhan  (1508—58)  was  a  minor  ;  and  so  the  affairs  of  the 
state  were  managed  by  his  father 'sold  officers.  He  married 
a  Bijapur  princess.  He  fell  out  with  the 
kin«  of  Bijapur  and  brought  about  almost  a 
diplomatic  revolution  by  concluding  aa 
alliance  with  the  Raya  of  Vijayanagar. 


In  1553  he  laid  siege  to  Bijapur,  but  he  died  shortly 
afterwards.  The  subsequent  history  of  Ahmadnagar  is> 
unimportant  except  for  the  heroic  defence  made  hv  ffiflnd 
Bibi  against  Prince  Murad.  Ahmadnagar  was  finally 
conquered  by  the  imperialists  in  1600. 

The  Qutb  Shahi  dynasty  was  founded  by  Qutb-ul-mulk^ 

He    was  well  educated,  and  was  originally  employed  in 

~  „      ,  the  secretariat  of  Mahmud  Shah  Bahmani. 


By  dint  of  his  ability  he  rose  to  be  the 
governor  of  Telingana.  He  declared  his  independence  in 
1518.  On  his  death  in  1543,  he  was  succeeded  by  a  series- 
of  weak  rulers  who  maintained  their  independence  against 
the  Mughals  until  1687  when  Golkunda  was  finally 
annexed  to  the  empire  by  Aurangzeb. 

Amir  Barid,  son  of  Qasim  Barid,  assumed  the  title 
of  king,  and  declared  his  independence  in  1526,  when 

Sultan,  Kalimullah,  fled  to  Bijapur. 


The  dynasty  lingered  till  1609,  when  it  was. 

supplanted  by  the  Adil  Shahis  who  annexed  the  province 
to  their  dominions. 

(iii)  The  RUe  of  Vijayana?ar 

The  rise  of  the  kingdom  of  Vijayanagar  dates  from  the 
time  of  the  disorders  which  occurred  during  the  reign  of 

Muhammad  Tughluq.  Sewell,  the  historian  of 
of  thenEampipre.  the  Vijayanagar  Empire,  gives  seven  tradition- 

ary  accounts  of  the  origin  of  the  empire*  l  But 
the  most  probable  account  is  that  which  attributes  its  origin; 
to  two  brothers,  Hari  Kara  and  Bukka,  who  were  employed 
in  the  treasury  of  Pratap  Rudra  Deva  KSkatiya  of  WarangaK 

1  Sewell,  A  Forgotten  Empire*  pp.    20—22. 
F.     14 


They  fled  from  their  country  in  1323  when  it  was  overrun 
by  the  Muslims.  They  took  up  service  with  the  Raja  of 
Anagondi  in  the  Raichur  district,  but  they  were  taken  to 
Delhi  when  that  country  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Muslims. 
This  excited  the  Hindus  so  much  that  they  rose  in  rebellion, 
and  the  Sultan  released  the  two  brothers,  and  restored 
them  to  the  country  of  Anagondi  which  they  held  as  tri- 
butaries of  the  empire  of  Delhi.  With  the  help  of  the 
famous  sage  and  scholar  Vidyaranya  (literally,  forest  of 
learning)  they  founded  in  the  year  1336  A.D.  the  imperial 
city  on  the  bank  of  the  Tungbhadra  merely  as  a  place  of 
shelter  against  the  persecutions  and  aggressions  of  the 
Muslim  invaders,  and  Hari  Hara  became  the  first  ruler  of 
the  dynasty. 

By  the  year  1340  Hari  Hara  had  estab- 

arly    lished  his  sway  over  the  valley  °f  the 

Tungbhadra,   portions  of  the  Konkon,    and 
the  Malabar  coast. 

Hari  Hara  and  his  brothers  never  assumed  royal  titles. 
Muslim  historians  tell  us  that  Hari  Hara  took  part  in  the 
•confederacy  organised  by  Krigna  Nayak,  son  of  Pratap 
Hudra  Deva  of  Warangal,  in  1344,  to  drive  the  Muslims  out 
'of  the  Deccan.  The  evidence  of  inscriptions  also  points 
to  the  fact  that  Hari  Hara  I  assisted  in  this  confederacy, 
and  fought  against  the  Muslim  forces.  The  death  of  the 
last  king  of  the  Hoysala  dynasty— VirQpfik?a  Ballala  in  1346 
coupled  with  the  disappearance  of  the  power  of  the  Sultan 
of  Delhi  enabled  the  valiant  brothers  to  bring  under  their 
control  the  dominions  of  the  Hoysalas.  The  brothers  then 
embarked  upon  a  brilliant  career  of  conquest.  Their  efforts 
were  crowned  with  success,  so  much  so,  that  within  the 
lifetime  of  Hari  Hara,  the  kingdom  extended  from  the  KrifpK 


in  the  north  to  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Kaveri  in  the 
south,  and  comprised  the  whole  country  situated  between 
the  eastern  and  western  oceans.  Bat  the  northward  ex- 
pansion of  the  rising  kingdom  was  checked  by  the  Bah- 
manids.  Both  tried  to  be  supreme  in  the  Deccan,  and  their 
ambitions  led  them  to  fight  against  each  other  with  great 
ferocity  and  pertinacity.  Hari  Kara  divided  his  kingdom 
into  provinces,  which  he  entrusted  to  scions  of  the  royal 
family  ana  trustworthy  viceroys,  whose  loyalty  had  been 
proved  by  long  and  faithful  service.  Hari  Kara  died  about 
1353,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  brother  Bukka  who  completed 
the  building  of  the  city  of  Vijayanagar,  and  enlarged  its 
dimensions.  He  is  described  in  the  inscriptions  as  the 
master  of  the  eastern,  western,  and  southern  oceans.  This 
is  no  doubt  an  exaggeration  ;  but  we  might  easily  conclude 
that  he  was  a  remarkable  ruler.  He  sent  a  mission  to  the 
emperor  of  China,  and  waged  wars  against  the  Bahmani 
kingdom.  He  was  a  tolerant  and  liberal-minded  ruler  ;  and 
it  is  said  that  on  one  occasion  he  brought  about  a  reconcilia- 
tion between  the  Jains  and  Vaignavas  by  his  intervention.^ 
Bukka  died  in  1879^  and  was  succeeded  by  HarL JIara  II 
the  first  king  of  the  dynasty  who  assumed  imperial  titles 
and  called  himself  Maharajadhiraj.  He  en* 
(*owed  ternPles»  an(*  tried  to  consolidate  his 
vast  possessions.  Sewell  writes  that  he 
was  always  a  lover  of  peace,  and  Vincent  Smith  says  that  he 
had  a  quiet  time  so  far  as  the  Muslims  were  concerned,  and 
enjoyed  leisure  which  he  devoted  to  consolidating  his  domi- 
nion over  the  whole  of  Southern  India,  including  Trichinopoly 
and  Conjeevaram  (Kanchi).  He  turned  his  attention  to  other 
countries  of  the  south,  and  his  general,  Gunda,  conquered 
several  new  provinces.  Hari  Hara  II  die£  on  the  90th 


August,  1404,  and  was  succeeded  by  bis  son  who  ruled  only 
for  a  short  time.  He  was  succeeded  by  Deva  Raya  who 
had  to  fight  again  and  again  against  the  Bahmanids. 
Firishta  says  that  on  one  occasion  Firuz  compelled  him  to 
give  his  daughter  in  marriage  to  the  Sultan.  But  we  may 
well  doubt  whether  the  marriage  took  place,  for  the  author 
of  the  Burhan-i-MOsir,  who  is  a  detailed  and  accurate 
chronicler,  does  not  make  even  a  casual  mention  of  this 
marriage,  nor  is  there  any  mention  of  it  in  the  inscriptions. 
Deva  Raya  died  in  1410,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son 
Vijaya  Raya  who  reigned  for  nine  years.  He  was  succeeded 
by  Deva  Raya  II.. 

Deva  Raya  followed  the  military  traditions  of  his  pre- 
decessors and  declared  war  against  the  Bahmanids.  Being 
impressed  by  the  superior  strength  of  the 
Muslim  cavalry,  he  employed  Muslim  horse- 
men  in  his  service,  but  even  this  somewhat 
unusual  step  proved  of  no  avail.  When  the  war  broke  out 
again  in  1443,  the  Muslims  defeated  ihe  Raya's  forces,  and 
compelled  him  to  pay  tribute.  During  Deva  Raya  H's  reign 
Vijayanagar  was  visited  by  two  foreigners— one  of  them  was 
Nicolo  Conti,  an  Italian  sojourner,  and  the  other  was  Abdur 
Razzaq,  an  envoy  from  Persia.  Both  have  left  valuable  obser- 
vations regarding  the  city  and  the  empire  of  Vijayanagar. 
He  visited  Vijayanagar  about  the  year 
Nicol°  Cont1'  1420  or  1421  and  he  describes  it  thus  :- 

"  The  great  city  of  Bizengalia  is  situated  near  very 
steep  mountains.  The  circumference  of  the  city  is  sixty 
miles ;  its  walls  are  carried  up  to  the  mountains  and 
enclose  the  valleys  at  their  foot,  so  that  its  extent  is, 
thereby  increased.  In  this  city  there  are  estimated  to 
be  ninety  thousand  men,  fit  to  bear  arms. 

BREAK-UP  (fr  THE  EMPIRE  218 

The  inhabitants  of  this  region  marry  as  many 
as  they  please,  who  are  burnt  with  their  dead 
husbands.  Their  king  is  more  powerful  than  all  other 
kings  of  India.  He  takes  to  himself  12TQOO  wives,  of 
whom  4,000  follow  him  on  foot  wherever  he  may  go, 
and  are  employed  solely  in  the  service  of  the  kitchen.  A 
like  number,  more  handsomely  equipped,  ride  on  horse- 
back. The  remainder  are  carried  by  men  in  litters,  of 
whom  2,000  or  3,000  are  selected  as  his  wives,  on  con- 
dition that  at  his  death  they  should  voluntarily  burn 
themselves  with  him,  which  is  considered  to  be  a  great 
honour  for  them. 

^  "At  a  certain  time  of  the  year  their  idol  is  carried 
through  the  city,  placed  between  two  chariots,  in  which 
are  joung  women  richly  adorned,  who  sing  hymns 
to  the  god,  and  accompanied  by  a  great  concourse  of 
people.  Many,  carried  away  by  the  fervour  of  their 
faith,  cast  themselves  on  the  ground  before  the  wheels, 
in  order  that  they  may  be  crushed  to  death— a  mode 
of  death  which  they  say  is  very  acceptable  to  their  god, 
others  making  an  incision  in  their  side,  and  inserting  a 
rope  thus  through  their  body,  hang  themselves  to  the 
chariot  by  way  of  ornament  and  thus  suspended  and 
half -dead  accompany  their  idol.  This  kind  of  sacrifice 
they  consider  the  best  and  most  acceptable  of  all. 

3.  "  Thrice  in  the  year  they  keep  festivals  of  special 
solemnity.  On  one  of  these  occasions  the  males  and 
females  of  all  ages,  having  bathed  in  the  rivers  or  the 
sea,  clothe  themselves  in  new  garments,  and  spend 
three  entire  days  in  singing,  dancing  and  feasting.  On 
another  of  these  festivals  they  fix  up  within 
their  temples,  and  on  the  outside  on  their  roofs  an 


innumerable  number  of  lamps  of  oil  of  auaimanni  which 
are  kept  burning  ^ay-  an  d)night.  On  the  third,  which 
lasts  nine  days,  they  set  up  in  all  the  highways  large 
beams,  like  the  masts  of  small  ships,  to  the  upper  part 
of  which  are  attached  pieces  of  very  beautiful  cloth  of 
various  kinds  interwoven  with  gold.  On  the  summit 
of  each  of  these  beams  is  each  day  placed  a  man  of 
pious  aspiration,  dedicated  to  religion,  capable  of  endur- 
ing all  things  with  equanimity,  who  is  to  pray  for  the 
favour  of  god.  These  men  are  assailed  by  the  people, 
who  pelt  them  with  orange,  lemons,  and  other  odori- 
ferous fruits,  all  of  which  they  bear  most  patiently, 
There  are  also  three  other  festival  days,  during  which 
they  sprinkle  all  passers-by,  even  the  king  and  queen 
themselves,  with  saffron  water,  placed  for  the  purpose 
by  the  wayside.  This  is  received  by  all  with  much 

Twenty  years   after    Nicolo    Conti,    Abdur   Razzaq,1 

an  envoy  from  Persia,  visited  Vijayanagar  in  1442     He 

Abdur    Raz-     staye(*  in  the  famous  city  till  the  beginning 

z&q's   account     of  April  1448.     He  gives  a  detailed  account 

>f  Vijayanagar. 

are  as  follows  :  — 

11  One  day  messengers  came  from  the    king  to 

summon  me,  and  towards  the  evening  I   went  to   the 

court,  and  presented  five    beautiful    horses 

Tke  Raya.  -  *  . 

and  two  trays  each  containing  nine  pieces 
of  4§mask    and    satin.      The    king    was    seated    in 

J  hr  <H  ^  *  ./  < 

y        J     s 

1  A  detailed  account  of  Abdur-Razzaq  is  given  in  the  Matta-us- 
Sadain.  Elliot,  IV,  pp.  105—120*  He  was  born  a*  Herat  in  1413.  Shah  Rukb 
of  Persia  sent  him  as  an  ambassador  to  Yijayanagar.  He  died  in  1482. 


great  state  in  the  forty-pillared  hall,  and  a  great  crowd 
of  Brahmans  and  others  stood  on  the  right  and  left  of  him. 
He  was  clothed  in  a  robe  of  Zaitun  satin  and  he  had- 
around  his  neck  a  collar  composed  of  pure  pearls  of  regal 
excellence,  the  value  of  which  a  jeweller  would  find  it 
difficult  to  calculate.     He  was  of  an  olive  colour,  of  a 
spare  body  and  rather  tall.    He  was  exceedingly  young,, 
for  there  was  only  some  slight  down  upon  his  cheeks  and 
none  upon  his  chin.    His  whole  appearance  was  very 
prepossessing.  .  .    The  daily  provision  forwarded  to  me 
comprised  two  sheep,  four  couple  of  fowls,  five  mans  of 
rice,  one  man  of  butter,   one  man  of  sugar,  and  two 
varahas  gold.    This  occurred  every  day.     Twice  a  week 
I  was  summoned  to  the  presence  towards  the  evening 
when  the  king  asked  me  several  questions  respecting 
the  Khakan-i-said,   and  each  time  I  received  a  packet  of 
betel,  a  purse  of  fanams  and  some  miskals  of  camphor. 

4<  TJie^city  ofJBisanagar  is  such  that  eye  has 
nor  ear  heard  of  any  place   resembling  it  upon  the 

eartk  It  is  so  built  that  it  has  seven  fortified 
walls,  one  within  the  other.  Beyond  the  cir- 
cuit of  the  outer  wall  there  is  an  esplanade  extending 
for  about  fifty  yards,  in  which  stones  are  fixed  near  one 
another  to  the  height  of  a  man ;  one-half  buried  firmly  in 
the  earth,  and  the  other  half  rises  above  it,  so  that 
neither  foot  nor  horse,  however  bold,  can  advance  with 
facility  near  the  outer  wall. 

" Each  class  of  men  belonging  to  each 

profession  has  shops  contiguous  the  one  to  the  other ;  the 
jewellers  sell  publicly  in  the  bazar  pearls, 
robieSt  emeralds,  and  diamonds.  In  this 
agreeable  locality,  as  well  aa  in  the 


king's  palace,  one  sees  numerous  running  streams 
and  canals  formed  of  chiselled  stone,  polished  and 

On  the  left  of  the  Sultan's  portico,  rises  the  diwan- 
khana  (the  council  house)  which  is  extremely  large  and 
looks  like  a  palace.  In  front  of  it  is  a  hall,  the  height  of 
which  is  above  the  stature  of  a  man,  its  length  thirty 
ghez,  and  its  breadth  ten.  In  it  is  placed  the  daftar- 
khana  (the  archives),  and 'here  sit  the  scribes.  .  .  In 
the  middle  of  this  palace  upon  a  high  estrade  is  seated 
an  eunuch,  called  Daiang  who  alone  presides  over 
the  diWan. At  the  end  of  the  hall  stand  tchobdars 
(hussars)  drawn  up  in  line.  Every  man  who  comes  upon 
any  business,  passes  between  the  tchobdars,  offers 
a  small  present,  grostratea  himself  with  his  face  to 
the  ground,  then  rising  up  explains  the  business  which 
brought  him  there  and  the  Daiang  pronounces  his  opi- 
nion, according  to  the  principles  of  justice  adopted  in 
this  kingdom,  and  no  one  thereafter  is  allowed  to  make 
any  appeal." 

Deva  Raya  II  probably  died  in  1449,  and  was  succeeded 

by  his  two  sons  one  after  the  other.    But  they  were  too 

weak  to  manage  the  large   empire    which 

dy-      he    ^    j£ft     t()     them         The     throne     wag 

usurped  by  Saluva-Narasinha,  the  most 
powerful  noble  in  KarnSta  and  Telingana.  This  is  known 
as  the  first  usurpation  Saluva-Narasinha's  power  did  not 
last  long.  His  successor  had  to  make  room  for  his  redoubt- 
able general  Naresa  Nayaka  of  Tuluva  descent,  who  became 
the  founder  of  a  new  dynasty.  The  most  famous  king  of 
this  dynasty  was  Kri?na  Deva  Raya. 


Kriijna  Deva  Raya  is  said  to  have  ascended  the  throne 
Vijayanagar  in  1509  A.D.  Under  him  Vijayanagar 
attained  ty  the  zenith  of  its  greatness  and 
char-  prosperity.  He  fought  the  Muslims  of  the 
per"  Deccan  on  equal  terms,  and  avenged  the 
wrongs  that  had  been  done  to  his  predeces- 
sors. He  was  an  able  and  accomplished  monarch.  Paes 
who  saw  him  with  his  own  eyes  thus  describes  him  : 

-/  "  The  king  is  of  medium  height,  and  of  fair  com-j 
exion  and  good  figure,  rather  fat  than  thin  ;  he  has  on 
Tiis  face  signs  of  small-pox.  He  is  the  most  feared  and 
perfect  king  that  could  possibly  be,  cheerful  of  disposition 
and  very  merry  ;  he  is  one  that  seeks  to  honour  foreign- 
ers, and  receives  them  kindly,  asking  about  all  their 
affairs  whatever  their  condition  may  be.  He  is  a  great 
ruler  and  a  man  of  much  justice,  but  subject  to  sudden 
fits  of  rage " 

The  history  of  this  period  is  a  record  of  bloody  wars. 
There  is  no  ruler  among  the  sovereigns  of  the  Deccan, 
both  Hindu  and  Muslim,  worthy  of  comparison  with  Kri$na 
Deva  Raya.  Although  a  Vaisnava  himself,  he  granted  the 
fullest  liberty  of  worship  to  his  subjects.  He  was  very 
kind  and  hospitable  to  foreigners,  who  speak  highly  of  his 
liberality,  his  genial  appearance,  and  his  elevated  culture. 
He  was  a  brilliant  conversationalist,  and  the  inscriptions  show 
that  he  was  a  great  patron  of  Sanskrit  and  Telugu  litera- 
ture. His  court  was  adorned  by  eight  celebrated  poets,  who 
were  known  as  the  o$a  diggaja.  He  was  not  wanting 
in  military  prowess,  and  gave  proof  of  his  organising 
capacity  and  valour  in  the  wars  he  waged  against  his 
-enemies.  A  fearless  and  renowned  captain  of  war,  Krigna 


Deva  Raya  was  a  man  of  charitable  disposition,  and  he 
made  numerous  gifts  to  temples  and  Brahmans.  All  things- 
considered,  he  was  one  of  the  most  remarkable  rulers  that 
have  appeared  in  Southern  India.  Sew  ell  gives  an  in- 
teresting account  of  the  king's  position  and  personality  : 

"  Kri?na  Deva  was  not  only  monarch  de  jure,  was 
in  the  practical  fact  an  absolute  sovereign  of  extensive 
power  and  strong  personal  influence.  He  was  the  real 
ruler.  He  was  physically  strong  in  his  best  days,  and 
kept  his  strength  up  to  the  highest  pitch  by  hard  bodily 
exercise.  He  rose  early  and  developed  all  his  muscles 
by  the  use  of  the  Indian  clubs  and  the  use  of  the  sword  ; 
he  was  a  fine  rider,  and  was  blessed  with  a  noble  presence 
which  favourably  impressed  all  who  came  in  contact 
with  him.  He  commanded  his  enormous  armies  in  person,, 
was  able,  brave  and  statesmanlike,  and  was  withal  a 
man  of  much  gentleness  and  generosity  of  character.  He 
was  beloved  by  all  and  respected  by  all.  The  only  blot 
on  his  scutcheon  is,  that  after  his  great  success  over  the 
Muhammadan  king  he  grew  to  be  haughty  and  insolent 
in  his  demands/' 

Krigna  Deva  Raya's  conquests  extended  far  and  wide. 
He  defeated  the  Raya  of  Orissa  and  married  a  princess  of  the 
royal  house.  But  his  most  important  achieve- 

ment  was  the  defeat  of  Adil  Shah  of  Bfiapur 
in  1520.  The  Muslim  camp  was  sacked,  and 
enormous  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Hindus.  Adil 
Shah's  prestige  was  so  completely  shattered  that  for  a  time 
he  ceased  to  think  of  further  conquest  in  the  south,  and  con- 
centrated his  attention  on  organising  his  resources  for  a 
fresh  and  more  determined  struggle.  The  Hindus  behaved  so* 


haughtily  in  the  hour  of  victory  that  their  conduct  gave 
terrible  offence  to  the  Muslim  powers,  and  made  them  the  ob- 
jects of  universal  hatred  in  all  Muslim  circles  in  the  Deccan. 
The  Portuguese  had  friendly  relations  with  the  Raya 
of  Vijayanagar  who  greatly  benefited  by  their  trade  in 

Rei  a  t  i  o  n  s  ^orses  an<*  other  useful  articles.  In  1510  the 
with  the  Portuguese  governor  Albuquerque  sent  a 

ortuguese  mission  to  Vijayanagar  to  obtain  permission 
to  build  a  fort  at  Bhatkal.  This  was  granted  when  the 
Portuguese  seized  Goa,  which  has  always  been  one  of  their 
valuable  possessions.  The  mutual  feuds  of  the  Hindu  and 
Muslim  rulers  of  the  Deccan  increased  the  political  impor- 
tance of  these  foreign  traders,  for  their  assistance  was 
often  sought  by  the  contending  parties. 

The  conquests  of  Krigna  Deva  Raya  considerably  enlarged 

the  extent  of  the  empire.    It  extended  over  the  area  which 
™  .  is  now  covered  by    the  Madras  Presidency, 

1    U  6        OX™ 

tent  of  the     the  Mysore  and  certain  other   states    of  the 
empire.  Deccan.  It  reached  to  Cuttack  in  the  east  and 

Salsette  in  the  west,  and  towards  the  south  it  touched  the 
extreme  border  of  the  peninsula.      The  expansion    of   the 
empire  and  its  great  resources  were  a  matter   of  supreme 
anxiety  to  the  Muslim  rulers  of  the  Deccan,   who  always 
kept  themselves  in  a  state  of  readiness  for  war,  and  left 
no  stone  unturned  to  reduce  its  power  or  lower  its  prestige. 
After  Krisna  Deva  Raya's  death  a  period  of  decline 
began.    The  new  ruler  Achyut  Deva,  who  was  a  brother 
of  the  late  king,   was  an  incompetent  man 
*  '  d  e     who    found  it  difficult    to  guard  the  state 

against  his  jealous  neighbours.  The  Sultan 
of  Bijapur  seized  the  fortresses  of  Raichur  and  Mudgal,  and 
thus  humiliated  the  Raya.  After  his  death  in  1542,  Achyut 


was  succeeded  by  Sadasiva  Raya,  the  son  of  a  deceased 
brother  of  his,  but  since  he  was  merely  a  figure-head,  all 
power  passed  into  the  hands  of  Rama  Raya  Saluva,  son  of 
Krishna  Deva  Raya's  famous  Minister  Saluva  Timma. 
Rama  Raya  was  a  capable  man,  but  his  pride  and  arrogance 
had  given  offence  to  his  allies  and  opponents  alike.  In  1543 
with  the  help  of  Ahmadnagar  and  Golkunda,  he  declared 
war  upon  Bijapur,  but  it  was  saved  by  the  diplomacy  of 
Ali  Adil  Shah's  minister  Asad  Khan,  who  detached  the  Raya 
from  the  coalition  and  made  peace  with  Burhan.  But  a 
fresh  shuffle  of  cards  followed  when  in  1557  Bijapur, 
Golkunda,  and  Vijayanagar  combined  to  attack 
Ahmadnagar.  The  whole  country  was  laid  waste  by  the 
Hindus  and  Firishta  writes  :— 

"The  infidels  of  Vijayanagar,  who  for  many  years 
had  been  wishing  such  an  event,  left  no  cruelty 
unpractised  ;  they  insulted  the  honour  of  the 
Musalman  women,  destroyed  the  mosques,  and  did 
not  even  respect  the  sacred  Quran." 

This  atrocious  conduct  of  the  Hindus  outraged  Muslim 
sentiment  and  alienated  their  allies.  They  determined  to 
crush  the  Hindu  State,  and  giving  up  all  their  differences 
formed  a  grand  alliance  against  Vijayanagar.  In  1564 
Bijapur,  Ahmadnagar,  Golkunda,  and  Bidar  combined,  but 
Berar  remained  aloof  from  the  confederacy.  The  formidable 
coalition,  called  into  existence  by  irreconcilable  hatred,  took 
a  revenge  which  has  no  parallel  in  the  history  of  the  south. 

The  allies  began  their  southward  march  on  December 
25,  1564,  and  met  near  the  town  of ..  Talikota  on  the  bank 
^  Battle  of  °^  *ke  K^na.  The  Raya  treated  their  move- 
Taiikota,  1566  ments  with  indifference.  He  used  '  scornful 
A*D~  language  towards  their  ambassadors  and 


regarded  their  enmity  as  of  little  moment.'    But  he  soon 
discovered    his  mistake.    He    sent  his  youngest  brother 
Tirumala  with  20,000  horse,  100,000  foot  and  500  elephants 
to  guard  the  passages  of  the  Kri?na  at  all  points,  and  des- 
patched a  brother  with  another  force.  The  remaining  troops 
he  kept  under  his  command  and  marched  to  the  field  of  bat- 
tle. The  allies  also  made  mighty  preparations.     Such  huge 
armies  had  never  met  each  other  before  on  a  field  of  battle 
in  the  south.    The  fight  began.   At  first  the  Hindus  seemed 
victorious,  but  the  tide  turned  when  the  artillery  wing 
of  the  allied  army  charged  the  Hindu  host    with  bags, 
filled  with  copper  coins,  and  in  a  short   time  5,000  Hindus 
were  slain.    This  was  followed  by  a  fearful  cavalry  charge. 
Rama  Raya  was  captured  and  was  beheaded   by  Husain 
Nizamshah   with  the  exclamation,     "Now  I  am    aveng- 
ed of  thee.  Let  God  do  what  he  will  to  me."  The  army  was 
instantly  seized  with  panic.     The  battle  ended  in  a  complete 
rout.    About  100.000  Hindus  were   slain,   and  the  plunder 
was  so  great  that  "every  man  in  the  allied  army  became 
rich  in  gold,  jewels,  effects,  tents,  arms,  horses,  and  slaves, 
as  the  Sultan  left  every  person  in  possession  of  what  he 
had     acquired    only   taking  elephants   for  his  own  use. 
Then  the  victorious  allies  proceeded  towards  the  city  of 
Vijayanagar  which  was  thoroughly    sacked.    Its   wealth 
was  seized  and  its  population  was  destroyed.    No  words 
can  describe  the  horrors   and  misery  which  the  people  of 
Vijayanagar  had  to  suffer  at  the  hands  of  the  Muslims. 
The  scene  is  described  by  Sewell  in  these  words  :— 

"  The  third  day  saw  the  beginning  of  the  end.  The 
victorious  Musalmans  had  halted  on  the  field  of  battle  for 
rest  and  refreshment,  but  now  they  had  reached,  the 


capital,  and  from  that  time  forward  for  a  space  of  five 
months  Vijayanagar  knew  no  rest.  The  enemy  had  come 
to  destroy,  and  they  carried  out  their  object  relentlessly. 
They  slaughtered  the  people  without  mercy  ;  broke  down 
the  temples  and  palaces  and  wreaked  such  savage  venge- 
ance  on  the  abode  of  the  kings,  that  with  the  exception 
of  a  few  great  stone-built  temples  and  walls, 

a  h*ap  "f  ™in*  tn  mark  thf3!  p^  where  once 

stately  buildings  q*™^     They  demolished  the  statues, 
and  even  succeeded  in  breaking  the  limbs  of  the  huge 
Jfarsinha  monolith.    Nothing  seemed  to  escape  them. 
They  broke  up    the  pavilions  standing  on  the    huge 
platform  from  which    the  kings    used  to  watch  the 
festivals  and  overthrew  all  the  carved  work.    They  lit 
huge  fires  in  the  magnificently    decorated    buildings 
forming  the  temple  of  Vitthalaswami   near  the  river, 
and  smashed  its  exquisite  stone  sculptures.     With  fire 
and  sword,  with  crow-bars  and  axes,  they  carried  on 
•day    after    day    their    work    of   destruction.    Never 
perhaps  in  the  history  of  the  world  has  such  havoc 
been    wrought,    and  wrought    so    suddenly,    on    so 
splendid  a  city  ;  teeming  with  a  wealthy  and  industrious 
population  in    the  full    plenitude   of    prosperity  one 
day,  and  on  the  next,  seized,   pillaged,  and  reduced 
to  ruins,  amid  scenes  of  savage  massacre  and  horrors 
beggaring  description." 
The  battle  of  Talikota  is  one  of  the  most  decisive 
Battles  iq  frdian  history.    It  sealed  the  fate  of  the  great 
Effect  of  the     H*n<*u  Empire  of  the  South.    Its  fall  was 
battle  of  Tali-     followed  by  anarchy  and  misrule,  and  the 
%oto*  Muslims  who  were  elated  at  the  ruin  of  their 

formidable  rival  soon  began  to  lose  their  strength  and 


vigour*  The  fear  of  Vijayanagar  was  to  them  a  blessing 
in  disguise.  It  had  kept  them  alert  and  active.  But  as 
soon  as  this  fear  vanished,  they  quarrelled  among  them- 
selves, and  thus  fell  an  easy  prey  to  the  ambitious  Mughal 
Emperors  of  the  north. 

After  the  fall  of  Rama  Raya  his    brother  Tirumala 
exercised  sovereignty  in  Sadasiva's  name,  but  about  the 

year  1570  he  usurped  the  throne,  and  laid  the 
dynasty  *  W  foundations  of  a  new  dynasty.  Tirumala's 

second  son,  Ranga  II,  was  succeeded  on  the 
throne  by  Venkata  I  about  1586.  He  was  the  most 
remarkable  prince  of  the  dynasty,  a  man  of  ability  and 
character,  who  extended  his  patronage  to  poets  and  learned 
men.  The  successors  of  Venkata  were  powerless  to  pre- 
serve intact  the  small  dominion  they  had  inherited  from 
him,  and  under  them  the  dynasty  gradually  dwindled  into 
insignificance.  The  Muslims  seized  much  of  the  territory 
of  the  Empire,  and  the  Naiks  of  Madura  and  Tanjore  built 
principalities  for  themselves  out  of  its  fragments. 

The  empire  was  a  vast  feudal  organisation,  and  the 
king  was  the  apex  of  the  whole  system.     He  was  assisted 

by  a  council  composed  of  ministers,  provincial 
toon.dmmiBtea"     governors,  military  commanders,  men  of  the 

priestly  class  and  poets*  But  the  govern- 
ment was  highly  centralised,  and  the  king  a  perfect 
autocrat.  His  authority  was  unlimited.  He  looked  after 
the  civil  administration,  and  directed  the  military  affairs 
of  the  empire,  and  acted  as  judge  in  cases  that  were 
submitted  to  him  for  decision.  The  principal  officers  of 
the  state  were  the  prime-minister,  ijhe  chief  treasurer, 
the  Jkeeper  of  the  royal  jewels,  thc^prefect  of  the  police, 
who  were  assisted  by  a  number  of  lesser  officials.  The 


prime-minister  was  the  king's  chief  adviser  on  all  im- 
portant questions*  The  prefect  of  the  police  was  respon- 
sible for  maintaining  order  in  the  city.  The  kings  of* 
Vijayanagar  maintained  a  splendid  court  on  which  they 
spent  huge  sums  of  money.  It  was  attended  by  nobles, 
learned  priests,  astrologers  and  musicians,  and  on  festive 
occasions  fireworks  were  displayed,  and  various  other  enter- 
tainments were  provided  by  the  state. 

There  was  a  well-regulated  system  of  local  government. 
The  empire  was  divided  into  more  than  200  provinces,  sub- 
divided into  Nadus  or  Kottams,  which  were  again  subdivided 
into  small  groups  of  villages  and  towns.  Each  province 
was  held  by  a  viceroy,  who  either  belonged  to  the  royal 
family  or  was  a  powerful  noble  of  the  state.  The  province 
was  merely  a  replica  of  the  empire.  The  viceroy  kept  his 
own  army,  held  his  own  court,  and  practically  acted  as  a 
despot  within  his  jurisdiction.  But  he  had  to  render  account 
of  his  stewardship  to  the  emperor,  and  in  time  of  war  he 
was  liable  to  render  military  service.  Though  the  tenure  of 
the  provincial  governors  was  uncertain,  they  seem  to  have 
thoroughly  enjoyed  their  time,  while  they  were  in  office. 

The  system  of  local  government  extended  to  vil- 
lages. The  village  was,  as  it  had  been  from  time  immemo- 
rial, the TmTTof  administration.  The  village  moot  managed 
its  own  affairs  through  its  hereditary  officers,  called  the 
Ayagars.  Some  of  them  decided  petty  disputes,  collected 
revenues,  and  enforced  law  and  order.  The  village  com- 
munities served  a  great  purpose.  They  kept  the  imperial 
government  in  touch  with  the  people. 

The  kings  of  Vijayanagar  enjoyed  a  large  income.  The 
pain  source  was  the  land  revenue.  The  Portuguese  chro- 
nicler tells  us.that  theflcaptains  held  land  from  the  king,,  and 


they  made  it  over  to  husbandmen  who  paid  nine-tenths  of 
their  produce  to  their  lords,  who  in  their  turn  paid  one-half 
to  the  king.  This  seems  to  be  an  exaggeration,  for  the 
peasantry  could  not  live  on  barely  one-tenth  of  the  produce 
of  their  labour,  v Besides  the  land  tax,  the  state  levied  a 
large  number  of  cesses  which  considerably  augmented  its 
income.  Eygp  prnaflt^tea  were  taxed,  and  the  large  in- 
come from  this  source  was  spent  on  maintaining  a  police 
force  which  was  attached  to  the  prefect  of  the  city.  The 
peasant  was  often  rack-rented  and  heavily  assessed,  and 
the  tax-collectors  dealt  with  him  harshly. 

The  military  organisation  was  also  based  on  a  feudal 

basis.    Besides  the  king's  personal  troops,  the  provincial 

governors  supplied  their  quota  in  time  of  war,  and  were  re- 

v  quired  to  give  every  kind  of  assistance.    There  is  a  differ* 

7  ence  of  opinion  among  historians  regarding  the  total  numeri- 

"  cal  strength  of  the  Vijayanagar  armies.    One  authority 

>  writes  that  in  1520  Kri$na  Deva  Raya  had  at  his  disposal 

a  huge  army  consisting  of  703,660  foot,  32,600  horse  and 

551  elephants  and  a  large  number  of  sappers  and  camp 

followers.    These  figures  are  considerably  over-estimated, 

and  it  is  highly  improbable  that  the  army  of  the  Raya 

should  have  been  so  large.    The  army  was  organised  like 

other  Hindu  armies  of  the  middle  ages.    It  consisted  of 

elephants,  cavalry,  and  infantry,  but  in  fighting  strength 

it  was  inferior  to  the  Muslim  armies  of  the  north.    Much 

reliance    was    placed    upon  elephants,  but    these  were 

powerless  against  skilled  archers  and  well-trained  Muslim 

cavalry  leaders. 

Justice  was  administered  in  a  rough  and  ready  fashion 
According  to  the  discretion  of  the  authorities.  Petitions  could 
be  made  to  the  king  or  to  the  prime-minister.  Justice  in 

F.  16 


civil  cases  was  dispensed  according  to  the  principles  of 
Hindu  Law  and  local  usage.  The  criminal  law  wag  harsh 
and  barbarous.  Fines  were  levied,  and  torture  was  fre- 
quently resorted  toA  Theft,  adultery,  and  treason  were 
punished  with  death  or  mutilation.  The  members  of  the 
priestly  order  were  exempt  from  capital  punishment* 

There  was  a  great  contrast  between  the  splendour  of 
the  court  and  the  squalor  and  poverty  of  the  cottage. 
Foreign  visitors  dwell  at  length  upon  the 
tbn°ial  C°ndi"    magnificence  of  royal  processions  and  festivals 
at  the  capital  and  the  wealth  and  luxury  of 
the  nobles.  \  Duelling  as  looked  upon  was  a   recognised 
method  of  settling  disputes.  2The  practice  of  Sati  was  in 
vogue,  and  the  Brahmans  freely  commended  this  kind  of 
self-immolation.  3  But  the  position  of  women  at  the  capital 
indicates  a  highly  satisfactory  state  of  affairs.    There  were 
women    wrestlers,  astrologers,    soothsayers,    and  a  staff 
of  women  clerks  was  employed  within  the  palace  gates 
to  keep  accounts    of  the  royal    household.    This   shows 
that  women  were  fairly  well  educated  and  experienced  in 
the  business  of  the  state.    Great  laxity  seems  to  have  pre- 
vailed in  the  matter  of  diet.    Though  the  Brahmans  never 
killed  or  ate  any  living  thing,  the  people  used  nearly  an 
kinds  of  meat.    The  flesh  of  oxen  and  cows  was  strictly 
prohibited,  and  even  the  kings  scrupulously  observed  this 
rule/ JEvery  animal  bad  to  be  sold  alive  in  the  markets. 

^  Brahmans  were  held  in  high  esteem.  They  were 
according  to  Nuniz,  honest  men,  very  good  at  accounts, 
talented,  welHformed  but  incapable  of  doing  hard  work. 
Bloody  sacrifices  were  common.  The  wealth  of  the  capital 
fostered  luxury  which  brought  in  its  train  numerous  vices. 



Khizr  Khan  had  secured  the  throne  of  Delhi,  but  his 
position  was  far  from  enviable.     He  hesitated  to  assume 
publicly  the  title  of  king  and  professed  to  rule 
mer*ly  as  the    yicegereflLof   Timur.    The 
empire  had  suffered  in  prestige,  and  lost  in 
territory  since  the  invasion  of  Timur  owing  to  the  ambition 
and  greed  of  provincial  governors,  and  the  process  of  disinr 
tegration  that  had  set  in  had  not  yet  come  to  an  end.    At 
the  capital,  the  parties  scrambled  for  power,  and  changed 
their  positions  with  astonishing  rapidity,  and  their  leaders 
acted  according  to  the  dictates  of  self-interest.    The  Doab 
had  been,  since  the  days  of  Balban,  a  most  refractory  part 
of  the  empire,  and  the  Zamindars  of  Etawah,   mostly  Raj- 
puts of  the  Rathor  clan,   Katehar,   Kanauj,  and  Badaon 
withheld  their  tribute  and  disregarded  the  central  power. 
They  stirred  up  strife  with  such  persistence,  that  again  and 
again  punitive  expeditionajiad  to  be  undertaken  in  order  to 
chastise  them.    The  kingdoms  of  Malwa,  Jaunpur,  and 
'Gujarat  were  quite   independent    of  Delhi.    They    were 
-engaged  in  fighting  with  their  neighbours  and  amongst 
themselves,  and  of  ten  encroached  upon  the  territory  of  Delhi. 
The  rulers  of  Malwa  and  Gujarat  fought  among  themselves 
and  with  Rajputs  whom    they    prevented    from  taking 
any  interest  in  the  politics  of  Delhi.  Not  far  from  the  capital, 
the  Mewatis  were  seething  with  discontent ;  they  withheld 
tribute  and  wavered  in  their  allegiance.     Towards  the 



northern  frontier,  the  Khokhars  carried  on  their  depreda- 
tions at  Multan  and  Lahore,  and  wished  to  profit  by  the 
general  anarchy  that  was  prevailing  all  over  the  country. 
The  Turk-bacchas  at  Sarhind  were  equally  restive.  They 
fomented  intrigues,  and  formed  conspiracies  to  establish 
theirown  influence.  The  Muslim  governors  in  the  provinces 
waged  war  against  their  neighbours,  and  acted  as  inde- 
pendent despots.  The  prestige  of  the  monarchy  was. 
gone,  and  the  Muslim  community  had  lost  its  old  strength 
and  vigour.  There  was  no  bond  of  sympathy  between  the 
Hindus  and  Muslims,  and  they  often  fought  among  them- 
selves. The  political  situation  at  the  opening  of  the  fifteenth 
century  was  full  of  anxiety,  and  the  task  of  social  recon- 
struction before  the  Saiyyads  an  exceedingly  difficult  one. 

The  political  confusion  that  prevailed  at  Delhi  enabled 
Khizr  Khan  to  acquire  more  power,  and  in  1414  he  over- 
powered Daulat  Khan,  and  took  possession  of 
ui^2i  AJX*    the  capital.    The    most  important  problem 
before  him  was  how  to  establish  order  in  the 
Doab  and  in  those  provinces,  which  still  acknowledged 
the  suzerainty  of  Delhi.    His  Wazir  Taj-ul-mulk  marched 
into  the  district  of    Katehar  in  1414    and  ravaged  the 

Rai  Hara  Singh  fled  without  offering  resistance,  but  he 
was  pursued  by  the  royal  forces  and  compelled  to  surrender. 
The  Hindu  Zamindars  of  Khor, l  Kampila,  Sakit,1  Parham, 

1  Khor  is  modern  Shamsabad  in  the  Fairukbabad  district  in  the 
United  Provinces  situated  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Buri  Ganga  river, 
18  miles  north-west  of  Fatehgarh  town. 

Farrukhabad  Distt.  Gaz.,  pp.  123-124. 

*  Sakit  lies  between  Kampila  and  Rapari,  12  miles  south-east  of 
Btah  town.  It  was  at  Badoli  in  this  par g ana  that  Bahlol  Lodi  died  oa 
hie  return  from  an  expedition  against  Gwalior. 


Gwalior,  Seori  and  Chandwar  submitted  and  paid  tribute* 
Jalesar1  was  wrested  from  the  Hindu  chief  of  Chandwar, 
and  made  over  to  the  Muslims  who  had  held  it  before.  The 
countries  of  the  Doab,  Biyana,  and  Gwalior  broke  out  into 
rebellion  again  and  again,  but  order  was  restored,  and  the 
chiefs  were  compelled  to  acknowledge  the  authority  of 

Having  restored  order  in  the  Doab,  Khizr  Khan  turned 
his  attention  to  the  affairs  of  the  northern  frontier.  The 
rebellion  of  the  Turk-bacchas  at  Sarhind  was  put  down. 
Trouble  broke  out  afresh  in  the  Doab,  but  the  leading 
Zamindars  who  stirred  up  strife  were  subdued.  The  Mewatis 
were  also  suppressed.  The  Sultan  himself  marched  against 
the  chiefs  of  Gwalior  and  Etawah  who  were  reduced  to 
obedience.  On  his  return  to  Delhi,  Khizr  Khan  fell  ill  and 
died  on  May  20,  1421  A.D. 

Khizr  Khan  lived  like  a  true  Saiyyad.  He  never  shed 
blood  unnecessarily,  nor  did  he  ever  sanction  an  atrocious 
crime  either  to  increase  his  own  power  or  to  wreak 
vengeance  upon  his  enemies.  If  there  was  little  adminis- 
trative reform,  the  fault  was  not  his  ;  the  disorders  of 
the  time  gave  him  no  rest,  and  all  his  life  he  was 
engaged  in  preserving  the  authority  of  the  state  in 
those  parts  where  it  still  existed.  Firishta  passes  a  well- 
deserved  eulogy,  upon  him  when  he  says :  "  Khizr 
Khan  was  a  great  and  wise  king,  kind  and  true  to  his 
word  ;  his  subjects  loved  him  with  a  grateful  affection 
so  that  great  and  small,  master  and  servant,  sat  and 
mourned  for  him  in  black  raiment  till  the  third  day,  when 

1  Jalesar  is  88  miles  east  of  Muttra  in  the  United  Provinces  of  Ajrn 
«nd  Oudh. 


they  laid  aside  their  mourning  garments,  and  raised  his  son? 
Mubarak  Shah  to  the  throne/' 

Khizr  Khan  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Mubarak  who 

won  the  favour  of  ithe  nobles  by  confirming  them  in  their 

possessions.    The    most    remarkable    thing 

ShL£^4a"w     about  the  histoi>y  of  this  Period  isthewide- 
A.D.  '  spread  anarchy  that  prevailed  in  the  country. 

As  before,  the  Zamindars  of  the  Doab  revolted 
again,  and  the  Sultan  marched  into  Katehar  in  1428  to 
enforce  the  payment  of  revenue.  The  Rathor  Rajputs  of 
Kampila  and  Etawah  were  subdued  next,  and  Rai  Sarwar's 
son  offered  fealty  and  paid  the  arrears  of  tribute. 

The  most  important  rebellions  of  the  reign  were  two— of 
Jasrath  Khokhar  in  1428  and  of  Paulad  Turk-baccha  near, 
Sarhind.  The  Khokhar  chieftain  suffered  a  severe  defeat 
and  fled  into  the  mountains  to  seek  refuge.  Paulad  was 
more  defiant ;  he  offered  a  stubborn  resistance  and  remained 
at  bay  for  more  than  a  year.  It  was  after  persistent  and 
prolonged  fighting  that  he  was  defeated  and  slain  in 
November  1433. 

In  order  to  make  the  administration  more  efficient,  the 
Sultan  made  certain  changes  in  the  distribution  of  the* 
highest  offices  in  the  state.  This  gave  offence  to  certain 
nobles  who  conspired  to  take  his  life.  When  the 
Sultan  went  to  Mubarakabad,  a  new  town  which  he  had 
founded,  to  watch  the  progress  of  constructions  on  the  20th 
February,  1434,  he  was  struck  with  a  sword  by  the  conspi- 
rators so  that  he  instantaneously  fell  dead  on  the  ground. 

Mubarak  was  a  kind  and  merciful  king.    The  contem- 
porary chronicler  records  his  verdict  with  touching  brevity 
I  in  these  words  :    '  A  clement  and  generous  sovereign,  full 
I  of  excellent  qualities.' 


After  Mubarak's  death  Prince  Muhammad,  a  grand- 
son of  Khizr  Khan,  came  to    the  throne.    He  found  it 
difficult  to  cope  with  the  forces  of  disorder  and  rebellion. 
Ibrahim  Shah  of  Jaunpur  seized  several  parganas  belonging 
to  Delhi,  and  the  Rai  of  Gwalior  along  with  several  other 
Hindu  chiefs  ceased  to  pay   tribute.    Mahmud  Khilji  of 
Malwa   advanced   as    far   as   the   capital,    but   he    soon 
retired  after  concluding  a  peace  with  Muhammad  Shah, 
for  his  capital  Mandu  was  threatened   by  Ahmad  Shah 
of  Gujarat.     Bahlol  Khan  Lodi,  the  governor  of  Lahore 
and  Sarhind,  who  had  come    to  the   rescue  of   Muham- 
mad Shah,  pursued  the  retreating  Malwa  army,  and  seized 
its   baggage   and    effects.      He   was   given   the   title   of 
Khani-Khanan,    and   the     Sultan     signified   his   affection 
towards  him  by  addressing  him  as  his  son.    But  Bahlol's 
loyalty    was    short-lived.     When    Alauddin    Alam    Shah 
came  to  the  throne  in  1445,  the  prestige  of  the   govern- 
ment declined  further  owing    to  his  negligence  and   in- 
competence.   Bahlol  slowly  gathered  strength,  and  deriv- 
ed  full   advantage   from   the   weakness    of   the   central 
power.     In  1447  the   Sultan   betook  himself  to   Badaon, 
which   he   made   his   permanent   residence  in    the  teeth 
of  the  opposition  of  the  entire  court  and  the  minister.    He 
committed   a    serious   blunder  in  attempting  to    kill  his 
Wazir,  Hamid    Khan,    who   thereupon   invited   Bahlol   to 
come   to  the   capital   and   assume    sovereignty.     With  a 
traitorous  party  at  the  capital  itself,  it  was  not  difficult 
for  Bahlol  to  realise  his  old  dream,  and  by  a  successful 
coup  d'etat  he  seized  Delhi.    Alauddin  Alam  Shah  volun- 
tarily    left    to    him     the    whole     kingdom    except    his 
favourite  district  of  Badaon.    Bahlol  removed   the  name 
of  Alam  Shah  from  the  Khutba  and  publicly  proclaimed 


himself  ruler  of  Delhi. 1  The  imbecile  Alauddin  retired  to 
Badaon  where  he  died  in  1478. 

Having  obtained  the  throne,  Bahlol  proceeded  with 
studied  caution  and  feigned  humility  to  secure  Hamid's 
Bahlol  con-  confidence.  At  first  he  treated  him  with  great 
soiidates  his  respect  but  soon  grew  jealous  of  his  power 
power  and  influence.  In  order  to  remove  him  from 

his  path  Bahlol  had  him  arrested  and  thrown  into  prison. 

Though  Bahlol's  name  was  proclaimed  in  the  Khutba, 
there  were  many  malcontents  who  did  not  recognise  his 
title  to  the  throne.  When  the  Sultan  left  for  Sarhind  to 
organise  the  North- West  Provinces,  they  invited  Mahmud 
Shah  Sharqi  to  advance  upon  the  capital.  Mahmud 
marched  at  the  head  of  a  large  army  and  laid  siege  to 
Delhi.  On  hearing  of  this  disaster,  Bahlol  at  once  turned 
back  and  Mahmud  withdrew  to  Jaunpur. 

1  It  is  written  in  the  Tarikh-i-Ibrahim  Shahi  and  the  Tarikh-i- 
Nizami  that  Malik  Bahlol  was  a  nephew  of  Sultan  Shah  Lodi  who 
was  appointed  governor  of  Sarhind  after  the  death  of  Mallu  Iqbal 
with  the  title  of  Islam  Khan.  His  brothers,  among  whom  was  Malik 
Kali,  the  father  of  Bahlol,  also  shared  his  prosperity.  Malik  Sultan, 
impressed  by  the  talents  of  Bahlol,  appointed  him  his  successor,  and 
after  his  death  Bahlol  became  governor  of  Sarhind.  Firishta  writes 
that  Islam  Khan  married  his  daughter  to  Bahlol,  and  notwithstanding 
the  existence  of  his  own  sons  he  nominated  Bahlol  as  his  heir,  because 
he  was  by  far  the  ablest  of  all.  But  Qutb  Khan,  the  son  of  Islam 
Khan,  dissatisfied  with  this  arrangement  went  to  Delhi  and  complained 
against  Bahlol  to  the  Sultan.  Hasan  Khan  was  sent  against  Bahlol 
at  the  head  of  a  considerable  force,  but  he  was  worsted  in  battle. 

An  interesting  anecdote  is  related  of  Bahlol,  that  one  day  when 
lie  was  in  the  service  of  his  uncle,  he  went  to  Zamana  where  he  paid 
i,  visit  to  Saiyyad  Ay  en,  a  famous  darvesh,  with  his  friends.  The 
larvesh  eaid  : '  Is  there  any  one  who  wishes  to  obtain  from  me  the 
empire  of  Delhi  for  two  thousand  tankas  ?'  Bahlol  instantly  pre- 
lented  the  sum  to  the  holy  man  who  accepted  it  with  the  words  :  *  Be 
»he  empire  of  Delhi  blessed  by  thee.'  The  prophecy  of  the  darvesh 
uckily  proved  true. 

Dora,  Makhzan-i-Afghana,  p.  43. 

The  Tarikh-i-Daudi  has  1,300  tonkas  instead  of  2,000. 

Allahabad  University  MB.,  p.  8. 


This  victory  over  the  Sharqi  king  made  a  profound 
Impression  upon  friends  and  foes  alike.  At  home,  it 
strengthened  his  position  and  silenced  the 
malicious  detractors  of  the  new  dynasty  ; 
abroad,  it  frightened  into  submission  several 
provincial  fief-holders  and  chieftains  who  had  enjoyed  vary- 
ing degrees  of  local  autonomy.  The  Sultan  proceeded 
towards  Mewat,  and  received  the  willing  homage  of  Ahmad 
Khan  whom  he  deprived  of  seven  parganas.  The  governor 
of  Sambhal,  who  had  taken  part  in  the  late  war  against 
the  Sultan,  was  treated  indulgently  in  spite  of  treason, 
and  the  only  penalty  inflicted  upon  him  was  the  loss  of 
seven  parganas.  At  Kol  Isa  Khan  was  allowed  to  keep  his 
possessions  intact,  and  similar  treatment  was  accorded  to 
Mubarak  Khan,  the  governor  of  Sakit,  and  Raja  Pratap  Singh 
who  was  confirmed  in  his  possession  of  the  districts  of 
Mainpuri  and  Bhogaon.  Etawah,  Chandwar,  and  other 
districts  of  the  Doab,  which  had  caused  so  much  trouble 
during  the  late  regime,  were  also  settled  and  made  to 
acknowledge  the  authority  of  Delhi. 

The  rebellious  governors  of  the  Doab  were  subdued  but 
Bahlol  was  not  yet  free  from  danger.  His  most  formidable 
enemy  was  the  King  of  Jaunpur.  At  the  in- 
stigation  of  his  wife  Mahmud  Shah  Sharqi 
made  another  attempt  to  seize  Delhi,  but 
peace  was  made  through  the  mediation  of  certain  nobles, 
and  the  status  quo  was  restored. 

But  the  terms  of  the  treaty  were  soon  violated,  and  war 
with  Jaunpur  h^iame  .a  serious  affair  when  Husain  Shah 
succeeded  to  the(^ttarqinihr^e.  Husain  was  a  ruler  of  great 
ability  and  courage ;  he  was  led  by  his  courtiers  to  think  that 
Bahlol  was  a  usurper  and  a  plebeian  by  birth,  and  that  he 


himself  had  a  valid  title  to  the  throne.  He  crossed  the- 
Jamna,  but  after  some  petty  skirmishes  in  which  the 
Jaunpur  forces  had  the  advantage,  a  truce  was  concluded, 
and  the  river  Ganges  was  fixed  as  the  boundary  between 
the  two  kingdoms.  Husain  retreated  to  Jaunpur  leaving 
his  camp  and  baggage  behind. 

Bahlol  soon  broke  the  treaty  and  attacked  the  Jaunpur 
army  on  its  return  march.  He  seized  Husain's  baggage  and 
captured  his  wife  Malika  Jahan.  The  Sultan  treated  his 
exalted  captive  with  every  mark  of  respect,  and  escorted  her 
back  with  his  Khwa ja  Sara  to  Jaunpur.  War  broke  out  again, 
and  Husain  was  defeated  in  a  battle  near  the  Ealinadi  by  the 
Delhi  forces.  Bahlol  marched  to  Jaunpur  and  obtained  pos- 
session of  it.  Husain  made  another  attempt  to  recover  his- 
kingdom,  but  he  was  defeated  and  expelled  from  Jaunpur. 
As  the  Sultan  had  little  faith  in  the  loyalty  of  the  Afghan, 
barons,  he  made  over  Jaunpur  to  his  son  Barbak  Shah. 

The  conquest  of  Jaunpur  considerably  strengthened  the 
hands  of  Bahlol,  and  he  marched  against  the  chiefs  of  Kalpi, 
Dholpur,  Bari,  and  Alapur,  who  offered  their  submission. l 
An  expedition  was  sent  to  chastise  the  rebellious  chief  of 
Gwalior,  who  was  subdued  and  made  to  pay  tribute.  On  his- 
return  from  the  expedition,  the  Sultan  was  attacked  by 
fever,  and  after  a  short  illness  died  in  1488. 

As  the  founder  of  a  new  dynasty  and  the  restorer  of 

the  waning  prestige  of  the  Delhi  monarchy,  Bahlol  deserves 

a  high  place  in  history.    In  personal  charac- 

whtevement.8     ter  ^e  was  *ar  suPeri°r  to  h'is  immediate 
predecessors  ;  brave,  generous,  humane,  and, 

1  Kalpi  is  a  city  in  the  Jalaun  district  in  the  United  Provinces  of 
Agra  and  Oudh.  Dholpur  is  a  state  between  Agra  and  Gwalior.  Bari  is 
&  town  in  the  Dholpur  State  19  miles  west  of  Dholpur.  Alapur  is  in  the* 
Gwalior  State  near  Morena. 


honest,  he  waa  devoted  to  his  religion,  and  followed  the 
letter  of  the  law  with  the  strictest  fidelity.  He  waft 
singularly  free  from  ostentation  ;  he  never  sat  upon  the 
throne,  bedecked  with  jewels  and  diamonds  in  gorgeous 
robes  like  other  mediaeval  rulers,  and  used  to  say  that 
it  was  enough  for  him  that  the  world  knew  him  to- 
be  a  king  without  any  display  of  royal  splendour  on 
his  part.  He  was  kind  to  the  poor,  and  no  beggar  ever  turned 
away  disappointed  from  his  gate.  Though  not  a  man  of 
learning  himself,  he  valued  the  society  of  learned  men,  and 
extended  his  patronage  to  them.  His  love  of  justice  was 
so  great  that  he  'used  to  hear  personally  the  petitions  of  his 
subjects  and  grant  redress.  He  kept  no  private  treasure, 
and  ungrudgingly  distributed  the  spoils  of  war  among  his- 
troops.  The  author  of  the  Tarikh-i-Daudi  describes  the 
character  of  Bahlol  in  these  words : 

1 '  In  his  social  meetings  he  never  sat  on  a  throne,, 
and  would  not  allow  his  nobles  to  stand  ;  and  even 
during  public  audiences  he  did  not  occupy  the  throne, 
but  seated  himself  upon  a  carpet.  Whenever  he 
wrote  a  firman  to  his  nobles,  he  addressed  them  aa 
Masnad  Ali  ;  and  if  at  any  time  they  were  displeased 
with  him,  he  tried  so  hard  to  pacify  them  that  he 
would  himself  go  to  their  houses,  ungird  his  sword 
from  his  waist,  and  place  it  before  the  offended 
party  ;  nay,  he  would  sometimes  even  take  off  his 
turban  from  his  head  and  solicit  forgiveness,  saying : 
'If  you  think  me  unworthy  of  the  station  I  occupy,* 
choose  some  one  else,  and  bestow  on  me  some  other} 
office.'  He  maintained  a  brotherly  intercourse  with 
all  his  chiefs  and  soldiers.  If  any  one  was  ill,  he 
would  himself  go  and  attend  on  him." 


After  Bahlol's  death,  his  son  Nizam  Khan  was  elevated  to 

the  throne  under  the  title  of  Sikandar  Shah  by  the  Amirs 

and  nobles,  though  not  without  a  dissentient 

8  i  k  a  ndar's     vote     While  the  question  of  succession  was 

accession      to  ^ 

the  throne.  being  mooted  by  the  principal  nobles  and  offi- 
cers of  state,  the  name  of  Barbak  Shah  was 
suggested,  but  as  he  was  far  away,  the  proposal  was 
rejected,  and  after  some  heated  discussion  among  the 
nobles,  the  choice  fell  upon  Nizam  Khan  mainly  through 
the  help  of  Khan-i-Jahan  and  Khan-i-Khanan  Farmuli. 

Sikandar  addressed  himself  to  the  task  of  organising 
the  government  with  great  energy  and  vigour.     The  first 
to  feel  the  force  of  his  arms  was  his  brother 
Barbak  Shah  who  had  assumed  the  title  of 
king.     He  was  defeated  and  taken  prisoner, 
and  the  country  was  entrusted  to  the  Afghan  nobles. 

The  Zamindars  of  Jaunpur  sent  word  to  Husain  Sharqi 
to  make  once  more  a  bold  bid  for  his  ancestral  dominions. 
At  the  head  of  a  large  army  he  marched  to  the  field  of 
battle,  but  he  was  defeated  near  Benares,  and  his  army  was 
put  to  flight.  Husain  Shah  fled  towards  Lakhnauti  where 
he  passed  the  remainder  of  his  life  in  obscurity.  With  his 
defeat,  the  independent  Kingdom  of  Jaunpur  ceased  to  exist. 
The  whole  country  was  easily  subdued,  and  the  Sultan 
appointed  his  own  officers  to  carry  on  the  government. 

Sikandar  next  turned  his  attention  to  the  Afghan  chiefs 
who  held  large  jagirs.  The  accounts  of  some  of  the  leading 
Afghan  officers  were  inspected  by  the  Sultan, 
the  and  there  were  startling  disclosures.  This 
policy  greatly  offended  them,  because  they 
looked  upon  audit  and  inspection  as  an  encroachment  upon 
their  privileges.  The  king's  attempts  to  suppress  them  with 


a  high  hand  led  them  to  form  a  conspiracy  against  him,  and 
having  finished  their  nefarious  plans,  they  induced  Prince 
Fatah  Khan,  the  king's  brother,  to  join  them.  But  the 
prince,  realising  the  dangerous  consequences  of  his 
conduct,  divulged  the  whole  plot  to  the  Sultan  who  inflicted 
severe  punishments  on  the  wrong-doers. 

Experience  had  impressed  upon  the  Sultan  the  necessity 
of  making  the  place  where  the  city  of  Agra  now  stands  the 
headquarters  of  the  army,  so  that  he  might 
be  able  to  exercise  more  effective  control  over 
the  fief-holders  of  Etawah,  Biyana,  Kol, 
Gwalior,  and  Dholpur.  With  this  object  in  view,  he  laid  the 
foundations  of  a  new  town  on  the  site  where  the  modern 
city  of  Agra  stands  in  1504  A.D.  A  splendid  town  gradually 
rose  upon  the  chosen  spot,  and  afterwards  the  Sultan  also 
took  up  his  residence  there. 

Next  year  (911  A.H.=1505  A.D.)  a  violent  earth- 
quake occurred  at  Agra,  which  shook  the  earth  to  its  founda- 
tions, and  levelled  many  beautiful  buildings 
and  houses  to  the  ground.  The  chronicler  of 
the  reign  writes  that,  'it  was  in  fact  sa 
terrible,  that  mountains  were  overturned,  and  all  lofty 
edifices  dashed  to  the  ground :  the  living  thought,  the  day  of 
judgment  was  come ;  and  the  dead,  the  day  of  resurrection/ 
No  such  earthquake  had  occurred  before,  and  the  loss  of 
life  was  appallingly  heavy. 

The  remaining  years  of  Sikandar's  life  were  spent  in 

suppressing  Rajput  revolts  and  the  attempts  of  provincial 

governors  to  establish  independent  kingdoms 

of  their  own*    Dholpur'  Gwalior,  and  Narwar 
were  subdued,  and  their  chiefs  were  com- 
pelled  to   pay   homage   to  the   Sultan.     The  prince  of 


€banderi  also  submitted,  and  though  allowed  to  retain 
nominal  possession  of  the  city,  the  administration  was  en* 
trusted  to  the  leading  Afghan  officers. 

The  last  expedition  was  undertaken  by  the  Sultan  to 
secure  the  fortress  of  Ranthambhor  which  was  entrusted 
to  a  nobleman  who  held  it  as  a  vassal  of  Delhi.  The  prince 
•of  Gwalior  rebelled  again.  The  Sultan  put  his  forces  in 
order,  but  in  the  midst  of  these  preparations  he  fell  ill  and 
died  on  December  1,  1517  A.D.,  and  was  succeeded  by  his 
son  Ibrahim  Lodi. 

Sikandar  was  the  ablest  ruler  of  the  Lodi  dynasty.  He 
kept  the  Afghan  barons  in  check  and  strictly  enforced  his 
orders.  He  ordered  an  examination  of  the 
tiotdmini8tra"  accounts  of  Afghan  governors  and  fief-holders, 
and  punished  those  who  were  found  guilty 
of  embezzlement.  The  provincial  governors  feared  him 
and  loyally  carried  out  his  orders.  The  Sultan  took  special 
care  to  protect  the  interests  of  the  poor.  He  abolished 
the  corn  duties  and  took  steps  to  encourage  agriculture. 
The  roads  were  cleared  of  robbers,  and  the  Zamindars 
who  had  been  notorious  for  their  lawless  habits  were 
sternly  put  down.  The  author  of  the  Tarikh-i-Daudi 
writes  of  Sikandar's  administration  : 

"  The  Sultan  daily  received  an  account  of  the  prices 
of  all  things  and  an  account  of  what  had  happened 
in  the  different  districts  of  the  empire.  If  he  perceived 
the  slightest  appearance  of  anything  wrong,  he  caused 
instant  inquiries  to  be  made  about  it.  .  .  In  his  reign, 
•business  was  carried  on  in  a  peaceful,  honest,  straightfor- 
ward way.  The  study  of  belles  lettrea  was  not  neglected. 
...  Factory  establishments  were  so  encouraged  that 
.  ^11  the  young  nobles  and  soldiers  were  engaged  in  useful 


works. ...  All  the  nobles  and  soldiers  of  Sikandar  were 
•satisfied  :  each  of  his  chiefs  was  appointed  to  the 
government  of  a  district,  and  it  was  his  especial  desire 
to  gain  the  goodwill  and  affections  of  the  body  of  the 
people.  For  the  sake  of  his  officers  and  troops  he  put 
an  end  to  war  and  dispute  with  the  other  monarchs  and 
nobles  of  the  period,  and  closed  the  road  to  contention 
and  strife.  He  contented  himself  with  the  territory 
bequeathed  him  by  his  father,  and  passed  the  whole 
of  his  life  in  this  greatest  safety  and  enjoyment,  and 
gained  the  hearts  of  high  and  low." 

Sikandar  was  a  man  of  handsome  appearance,  fond  of 

base,  and  well-versed  in  the  accomplishments  suited  to  men 

^  of  his  rank.    He  was  intensely  religious,  and 

kkandar.fcer°f    allowed  himself  to  be  guided  and  dominated 

by  the  ulama  in  every  detail  of  government. 

He  persecuted  the  Hindus  and  desired  to  banish  'idolatry 

from  the  land.    So  great  was  his  zeal  for  the  faith,   that  he 

once  ordered  the  temples  of  Mathura  to  be  destroyed,  and 

sarais  and  mosques  to  be  built  in  their  stead.    The  Hindus 

were  not  allowed  to  bathe  at  the  ghats  on  the  bank  of  the 

Jamna,  and  an  order  was  passed  prohibiting  barbers  from. 

shaving  the  headland  boards  olthe  Hindus  in  accordance 

with  their  religious  customs. 

The  Sultan  loved  justice.  He  listened  to  the  complaints 
of  the  poor  himself  and  tried  to  redress  them.  He  kept 
himself  informed  of  everything  that  happened  in  his  empire. 
The  market  was  properly  controlled,  and  all  cases  of  fraud 
or  deceit  were  reported  to  the  Sultan. 

The  Sultan  was  well-known  for  his  sobriety  and  wisdom, 
He  never  allowed  men  of  dissolute  character  to  come  near 
Aim.  Himself  a  man,  of  literary  tastes,  he  extended  his 


patronage  to  learned  men,  and  often  invited  them  to  his- 
palace  to  listen  to  their  discourses. 

During  his  lifetime  Sikandar  maintained  order  by  his- 
firm  policy  and  held  the  turbulent  barons  in  check,  but 
after  his  death  when  the  crown  passed  to  a  man,  who  was- 
inferior  to  him  in  ability  and  character,  the  forces  which 
he  had  controlled  broke  loose,  and  undermined  the  founda- 
tions of  the  empire. 

The  character  of  the  Afghan  government  changed  under 
Ibrahim.   He  was  a  man  of  headstrong  and  irritable  temper, 
who  by  his  insolence  and  hauteur  alienated 
sympathies  Of  the  Afghan  nobles.    The 

Afghan    gov-     Afghans  looked  upon  their  king  as  a  comrade 
emmen  .  s  ^  master,  and  willingly  accorded  to 

him  the  honours  of  a  feudal  superior.  Men  of  the  Lohanu 
Farmuli,  and  Lodi  tribes  held  important  offices  in  the  state. 
They  had  always  been  turbulent  and  factious  ;  and  their 
position  and  influence  had  enabled  them  to  form  conspiracies 
against  the  crown.  Their  loyalty  to  their  king  fluctuated 
according  to  the  strength  or  weakness  of  the  latter.  Sikan- 
dar had  kept  them  under  firm  control,  'and  severely  punished 
them  when  they  flouted  his  authority.  But  when  Ibrahim 
attempted  to  put  down  their  individualistic  tendencies  with 
a  high  hand,  in  order  to  make  his  government  strong  and  effi- 
cient, they  protested  and  offered  resistance.  As  Erskine  ob- 
serves, the  principal  fief-holders  looked  upon  their  jagirs  'as 
their  own  of  right,  and  purchased  by  their  swords  rather 
than  as  due  to  any  bounty  or  liberality  on  the  part  of  the 
sovereign.'  Ibrahim  was  confronted  with  a  difficult  situation. 
The  territory  of  the  empire  had  increased  in  extent  ;  the 
feudal  aristocracy  had  become  ungovernable  ;  and  the  ele- 
ments of  discontent,  which  had  accumulated  for  years  silently 


beneath  the  surface,  began  to  assert  themselves.  The  Hindus, 
dissatisfied  with  Sikandar's  policy  of  religious  persecution, 
heartily  hated  the  alien  government  which  offended  against 
theirmost  cherished  prejudices.   The  problem  before  Ibrahim 
was  somewhat  similar  to  that  which  confronted  the  Tudors 
in  England  towards  the  close  of  the  fifteenth  century.  But  he 
lacked  that  tact,  foresight,  and  strength  of  will  which  en- 
abled Henry  VII  to  put  down  with  a  high  hand  the  overween- 
ing feudal  aristocracy,  which  tended  to  encroach  upon  the 
royal  domain.  His  drastic  measures  provoked  the  resentment 
of  the  half-loyal  nobility  and  paved  the  way  for  the  disruption 
of  the  Afghan  empire.    But  Ibrahim  is  not  wholly  to  blame. 
The  break-up  of  the  empire  was  bound  to  come  sooner  or  later, 
for  even  if  Ibrahim  had  kept  the  nobles  attached  to  himself, 
they  would  have  tried  to  set  up  small  principalities  for  them- 
selves, and  reduced  him  to  the  position  of  a  titular  king,  a 
mere  figurehead  in  the  midst  of  warring  factions  and  cliques. 
Though  Ibrahim  was  jealous  of  the  influence  of  the 
barons  and  tried  to  crush  them  with  a  high  hand,  he  never 
neglected  the  interests  of  the  people.  During 

prices? ne88  °f  his  rei£n» the  cr°Ps  were  abundant,  and  the 
prices  of  all  articles  of  ordinary  use  were 
incredibly  low.  The  Sultan  took  grain  in  payment  of  rent, 
and  all  the  fief-holders  and  nobles  were  asked  to  accept 
payments  in  kind.  No  scarcity  of  grain  was  ever  felt,  and 
the  author  of  the  Tarikh-i-Daudi  writes  that  a  respectable 
man's  services  could  be  obtained  for  five  tankGs  a  month, 
and  a  man  could  travel  from  Delhi  to  Agra  on  one  Bahloli 
which  was  sufficient  to  maintain  himself,  his  horse  and  his 
small  escort  during  the  journey. 

As  has  been  said  above,  Ibrahim  had  by  his  indiscrimi- 
nate severity  talienated  the  sympathies  of  the  Lodi  Amirs, 

P.  16 


who  conspired  soon  after  his  accession  to  place  his  brother 
Prince  Jalal  upon  the  throne  of  Jaunpur.    In 
Jaiai's     pursuance  Of  thjs  pian    the  prince  marched 

from  Kalpi  and  assumed  charge  of  the  govern- 
ment of  Jaunpur.  But  this  arrangement  was  highly  disap- 
proved by  Khan-i-Jahan  Lodi,  one  of  the  most  high-minded 
Amirs  of  Sikandar.  He  sharply  reprimanded  the  nobles  for 
their  impolitic  conduct,  and  pointed  out  the  dangers  of  a 
dual  sovereignty  to  the  empire.  The  Afghan  nobles  ac- 
knowledged their  mistake,  and  tried  to  persuade  Prince 
Jalal  to  withdraw  from  Jaunpur,  but  he  refused  to  do  so. 
Negotiations  having  failed,  Ibrahim  issued  a  farman  in 
which  he  ordered  the  Amirs  not  to  pay  any  heed  to  Jalal's 
authority  and  threatened  them  with  severe  punishments,  if 
they  failed  to  comply  with  the  royal  mandate.  The  more 
influential  among  the  Amirs  were  conciliated  by  gifts  and 
presents,  and  were  detached  from  Prince  Jalal.  Deprived  of 
this  support,  he  allied  himself  with  the  Zamindars,  and  with 
their  help  improved  the  condition  of  his  army  Ibrahim 
confined  all  his  brothers  in  the  fort  of  Hansi,  and  himself 
inarched  against  Jalal,  whose  strength  was  considerably 
diminished  by  the  desertion  of  Azam  Humayun,  his 
principal  supporter.  Kalpi  was  besieged  ;  the  contest  was 
carried  on  with  great  vigour  for  some  time,  and  the  fort  was 
dismantled.  Jalal  fled  towards  Agra  where  the  governor 
opened  negotiations  with  him,  and  offered  him  the  undis- 
turbed possession  of  Kalpi,  if  he  waived  all  claims  to 
sovereignty.  When  Ibrahim  came  to  know  of  this  treaty 
which  was  concluded  without  his  consent,  he  disapproved 
of  it,  and  issued  orders  for  the  assassination  of  the 
rebellious  prince.  Jalal  fled  to  the  Raja  of  Gwalior  for 


Having  set  the  affairs  of  the  capital  in  order,  Ibrahim 
sent  his  forces  to  reduce  the  fort  of  Gwalior.  Jalal  fled 
towards  Malwa  but  he  was  captured  by  the  Zamindars  of 
Gondwana,  who  sent  him  in  chains  to  Ibrahim.  The  Prince 
was  conveyed  to  Hansi,  but  on  his  way  to  that  abode  of 
misery  he  was  assassinated  by  the  Sultan's  orders. 

The  Sultan  dismissed  Azam  Humayun  from  command 
and  deprived  his  son  Islam  Khan  of  the  governorship  of 
Kara  Manikpur.  His  disgrace  alarmed  the 
Huma-  other  nobles»  who  Joined  his  banner  and 

run.  incited  him  to  raise  the  standard  of  rebellion. 

So  great  was  the  discontent  caused  by  Ibra- 
him's policy  that  in  a  short  time  the  rebels  collected  a  large 
army  which  consisted  of  40,000  cavalry,  500  elephants  and  a 
large  body  of  infantry,  while  the  royal  forces  numbered 
only  50,000.  A  desperate  fight  raged  between  the  royalists 
and  the  rebels  of  which  a  graphic  account  is  given  by  the 
author  of  the  Makhzan-i-Afghana. 

"  Dead  bodies,  heap  upon  heap,  covered  the  field  ;  and 
the  number  of  heads  lying  upon  the  ground  is  beyond  the 
reach  of  recollection.  Streams  of  blood  ran  over  the  plain  ; 
and  whenever  for  a  length  of  time,  a  fierce  battle  took  place 
in  Hindustan,  the  old  men  always  observed  that  with  this 
battle  no  other  one  was  comparable  ;  brothers  fighting 
against  brothers,  fathers  against  sons,  inflamed  by  mutual 
shame  and  innate  bravery  :  bows  and  arrows  were  laid  aside, 
and  the  carnage  carried  on  with  daggers,  swords,  knives 
.and  javelins.  "  At  last,  Islam  Khan  lay  dead  on  the  field 
x>f  battle  ;  Said  Khan  was  captured,  and  the  rebels  were 
-defeated  with  heavy  losses. 

Ibrahim  now  tried  to  destroy  the  feudal  chieftains  in 
his  empire  in  order  to  strengthen  his  position,  but  the 


attempt  recoiled  on  himself  and  led  to  his  ruin.    The  cruel 
treatment  he  meted  out  to  them  has  already 

Ibrahim  and  fa^  mentioned.  The  veteran  Mian  Bhua  had 
barons.  *  &*  fallen  a  victim  to  his  wrath,  and  Azam  Huma- 
yun  had  been  treacherously  assassinated  in 
prison.  Even  the  greatest  barons  trembled  for  their  safety, 
and  Dariya  Khan,  Khan-i-Jahan  Lodi,  and  Husain  Khan  Far- 
muli,  fearing  lest  a  similar  fate  should  overtake  them,  broke 
out  into  open  rebellion.  Husain  Khan  Farmuli  was  assassinat- 
ed in  his  bed  by  some  holy  men  of  Chanderi,  and  his  tragic 
death  made  the  Afghan  nobles  bitterly  hostile  to  the  Sultan 
and  convinced  them  of  his  perfidious  designs.  Dariya  Khan's 
son,  Bahadur  Khan,  assumed  the  title  of  Muhammad  Shah, 
struck  coins  in  his  name,  and  collected  a  large  force  with 
which  he  successfully  resisted  the  attempts  of  the  Sultan  to 
crush  him.  The  baronial  discontent  reached  its  climax  when 
Ibrahim  cruelly  treated  the  son  of  Daulat  Khan  Lodi.  The 
latter  was  summoned  to  the  court,  but  he  excused  himself  on 
the  ground  that  he  would  come  later  with  the  treasure  of 
the  state,  and  sent  his  son  Dilawar  Khan  to  avert  the  wrath 
of  the  Sultan.  He  was  taken  to  the  prison  where  he  was 
shown  the  victims  of  royal  caprice,  suspended  from  the  walls. 
To  the  young  Afghan  who  trembled  with  fear  at  this  awful 
spectacle,  the  Sultan  observed  :  "Have  you  seen  the  condition 
of  those  who  have  disobeyed  me  ?  "  Dilawar  Khan,  who  under- 
stood the  warning  these  ominous  words  conveyed,  bowed 
his  head  in  profound  submission,  and  quietly  escaped  to  his 
father  to  whom  he  communicated  all  that  he  had  seen  at 
the  capital.  Alarmed  for  his  safety,  Daulat  Khan  addressed 
through  his  son  Dilawar  Khan  an  invitation  to  Babar,  the 
ruler  of  Kabul,  to  invade  Hindustan.  The  story  of  Babar's- 
conquest  of  Hindustan  will  be  related  in  another  chapter*. 


Muslim  state  in  India,  as  elsewhere,  was  a  theo- 
jra'cv.  The  king  was  Caesar  and  Popejcombined  in_  one,  but 

his  authority  in  religious  matters  was  strictly 
stabte.  I9lami°  limited  by  the  Holy  Law.  "  He  is  the  shadow 

of  God  upon  earth  to  whose  refuge  we  are  to 
fly  when  oppressed  by  injury  from  the  unforeseen  occurH 
rence  of  life."  But  he  is  merely  to  carry  out  God's  will,  and; 
the  civil  law  which  he  administers  is  to  be  subordinated  to 
the  canon  law.  In  such  a  state,  naturally,  the  priestly  class 
will  have  a  powerful  voice.  The  Muslim  kings  of  Hindus- 
tan were  sovereign  in  their  own  person  ;  they  struck  coins 
and  caused  the  Khutba  to  be  read  in  their  names,  though 
some  of  them  invoked  the  Khalifa's  aid  to  cement  their 
title  as  was  done  by  Iltutmish,  Muhammad  Tughluq,  and 
Firuz  Tughluq.  The  state  rested  upon  the  support  of  the 
military  class  which  consisted  exclusively  of  the  followers 
of  the  faith.  Their  fanaticism  was  stirred  up  by  the  Ulama 
who  impressed  upon  them  the  duty  of  fighting  under  the 
sacred  banner  by  telling  them,  that  death  on  the  field  of 
battle  will  be  rewarded  with  the  honours  of  martyrdom. 
Apart  from  the  love  of  adventure  and  the  hope  of  material 
advantage,  the  prospect  of  posthumous  canonisation  in  case 
they  died  in  battle  led  many  an  ardent  spirit  to  risk  his  life 
in  the  cause.  The  Ulama  naturally  came  to  possess  enor- 
mous influence  in  such  a  state.  The  extirpation  of  idolatry. 
the  extinction  of  every  form  of  dissent  from  the  accepted 
dogma,  the  conversion  of  the  infidel  population—  these  came 
to  be  looked  upon  as  the  functions  of  an  ideal  Muslim  state.  ' 



Most  of  the  Muslim  rulers  attempted  to  conform  to 
ideal  of  the  orthodox  canonists  according  to  their  lights 
and  opportunities.    Those  who  tried  to  meet  their  wishes 
were  praised  lavishly  by  historians  who  were  mostly  mem- 
bers of  the  class  of  Ulama.    But  among  the  earlier  kings 
in  India  Alauddin  struck  a  new  line.    Like  Akbar  after 
him,  he  was  opposed  to  the  interference  of  the  Ulama  in 
matters  of  state.    His  political  theory  is  clearly  set  forth 
in  the  words  which  he  addressed  to  Qazi  Mughis,  whom  he 
consulted  about  the  legal  position  of  the  sovereign  in  the 
state.     Fully    aware    of    the    evils  of  a    church-ridden 
monarchy,  he  enunciated  a  new  doctrine  of  sovereignty 
'and  claimed  to  be  "  God's  vicar  in  things  temporal,  as  is 
(the  priest  in  things  spiritual."    The  people  acquiesced  in 
this  doctrine,  merely  because  the  political   situation  of  the 
time  needed  a  strong  man  at  the  helm  of  the  state,  who 
would  repel  the  Mongol  attacks  and  keep  order  at  home. 
Muhammad  Tughluq's  rationalism  on  which  Barani  pours 
his  cold  scorn  brought  about  a  war  between  him  and  the 
Ulama  with  the  result  that  the  latter  conspired  against 
him  and  th^rted  all  his  plans.    Under  his  weak  successor 
they  easily  gained  the  upper  hand,  and  persuaded  him  to 
adjust  the  institutions  of  the  state  in  accordance  with  the 
principles  laid  down  in  the  Quran.  The  taxes  were  reduced 
to  the  number   prescribed  in  the  Law  ;  and  the   official 
agency  was  freely  used  to  put  down  heresy  and  infidelity. 
After  the  period  of  anarchy  which  followed  the  death  of 
Firuz,  when  the  empire  regained  a  settled  form,  the  E/Zawa, 
recovered  their  ascendancy  ;  and  under  Sikandar  Lodi  a  cam- 
paign of  bitter  persecution  was  revived  against  the  Hindus. 
On  the  whole,   during  this  period  the  Ulama  continued  to 
exercise  much  influence    on  political  affairs.     Indeed,  it 


required  an  extraordinary  strength  of  will  to  discard  their 
advice  and  follow  a  line  of  action  in  opposition  to  the  tradi- 
tions and  dogmas  of  the  orthodox  church.  That  the  influ- 
ence of  the  priestly  order  was  injurious  to  the  interests  of 
the  state  cannot  be  denied. 

The  state  imposed  great  disabilities  upon  the  non- 
Muslims.  Forcible  conversions  were  ordered,  but  they  were 
neither  frequent  nor  systematic  owing  to  the  pressure  of 
war  and  the  recurrence  of  Mongol  raids,  which  often  com- 
pelled  the  suspension  of  all  other  activities  of  the  adminis- 
tration. The  non-Muslims,  technically  called  the  Zimmis, 
had  to  pay  a  poll-tax  called  the  Jezi,ya  for  the  protection  of 
their  lives  and  property.  It  was  a  sort  of  commutation  money 
which  they  had  to  pay  in  lieu  of  military  service.  Humility 
and  submissiveness  are  mentioned  as  their  duties  in  the 
sacred  law.  The  Quran  says,  '  Let  there  be  no  compulsion  in 
religion.  Wilt  thou  compel  men  to  become  believers  ?  No  soul 
can  believe,  but  by  the  persuasion  of  God.' 

It  may  be  conceded  at  once  that  the  Prophet  for- 
bade conversion  by  force  and  enjoined  preaching  and 
persuasion  as  the  sole  method  of  propagating  the  faith, 
but  his  commands  were  not  carried  out  by  his  zealous 

1  According  to  the  Hanafi  doctors  Jeziya  is  paid  by  the  Zimmis  as 
a  compensation  for  being  spared  from  death.  By  the  payment  of  the 
Jeziya  the  non-Muslims  purchase  their  lives  and  escape  death.  Agh- 
nides,  Muhammadan  Theories  of  Finance,  LXX,  pp.  398,  407.  This 
may  not  _be  accepted  on  all  bands.  The  correct  view  seems  to  be  that 
the  Jeziya  was  a  military  tax  levied  upon  the  Zimmis. 

The  capitation-tax  which  is  levied  by  a  Muslim  ruler  upon  subjects 
who  are  of  a  different  faith*  but  claim  protection  (aman)  is  founded 
upon  a  direct  injunction  of  the  Quran  : — 

"  Make   war  upon  such   of  those  to  whom  the   scriptures  have  been: 

given  as  believe  not  in  God  or  in  the  last   day,  and  forbid  not  that  which 

God  and  his  apostles  have  forbidden,  and    who  profess  not  the  profession 

of  truth,  until  they  pay  tribute  out  of  their  hand  and  they  be  humbled."" 

Hughes,  Dictionary  of  Islam,  p.  248. 


followers.  Instances  are  not  rare  in  which  the  non-Muslims 
were  treated  with  great  severity.  They  were  not  allowed 
to  enlist  in  the  army  even  if  they  wished  to  do  so.  The 
practice  of  their  religious  rites  even  with  the  slightest 
publicity  was  not  allowed,  and  cases  are  on  record  of  men 
who  lost  their  lives  for  doing  so.  Some  of  these  kings  were 
so  bigoted  that  they  did  not  allow  any  new  temple  to  be 
built  or  an  old  one  to  be  repaired.  There  were  others  like 
Sikandar  Lodi  who  were  so  intolerant  of  idolatry  as  to  order 
a  wholesale  demolition  of  temples.  Toleration  under  Muslim 
domination  in  India  in  the  early  middle  ages  was  not  the 
rule  but  the  exception.  A  liberal-minded  ruler  like  Muham- 
mad Tughluq  would  be  traduced  and  condemned  by  the 
Ulama  and  charged  with  bartering  away  the  honour  of 
Islam.  What  the  orthodox  party  wanted  was  conformity 
to  their  interpretation  of  the  law,  no  matter  what  the 
consequences  might  be. 

The  Islamic  state  fostered  luxury  among  the  members  of 
the  ruling  class.    The  highest  offices  in  the  state  were  held 

by  Muslims,   and    elevation    to    positions   of 
n  the     honour  was  generally  determined    by    royal 

will  and  not  by  merit.  The  easy  acquisition 
of  wealth  and  the  participation  in  the  festivities  of  the  court 
led  to  great  vices,  and  the  Muslims  towards  the  close  of  the 
fourteenth  century  lost  their  old  vigour  and  manliness.  The 
•early  Muslim Twho  served  Iltutm.ish,  Balban,  and  Alauddin 
were  soldier-martyrs  who  cheerfully  braved  risks  for  the 
glory  of  Islam,  but  their  descendants  who  had  no  induce- 
ment to  work  degenerated  into  mediocres,  who  had  neither 
the  ability  nor  the  enthusiasm  of  their  ancestors.  The 
partiality  of  the  state  towards  them  destroyed  their  spirit  of 
independence,  and  the  large  Khanqahs  or  charity  establish- 


merits  reduced  them  to  the  position  of  the  hangers-on  of  the 
state,  utterly  devoid  of  self-respect,  energy,  or  initiative.  As 
the  Muslims  were  few  in  number,  they  escaped  the  rough 
toil  which  was  the  inevitable  lot  of  the  average  non- 
Muslim  husbandman.  They  held  land  and  paid  only  one- 
tenth  as  tax  (ashr)  to  the  state,  and  could  thus  enjoy  a 
degree  of  affluence  to  which  non-Muslims  in  the  empire 
could  never  aspire.  The  effects  of  Muslim  domination  upon 
the  Hindus  were  of  a  different  kind.  They  fretted  and 
chafed  against  the  disabilities  imposed  upon  them.  They 
were  overtaxed,  and  Zia  Barani  writes  that  Alauddin  took 
from  the  Hindus  of  the  Doab  50  per  cent  of  their  produce. 
They  had  no  inducement  to  accumulate  wealth,  and  the 
bulk  of  them  led  a  life  of  poverty,  want,  and  struggle,  earn- 
ing just  sufficient  to  maintain  themselves  and  their  family. 
The  standard  of  living  among  the  subject  classes  was  low, 
and  the  incidence  of  taxation  fell  mainly  upon  them.  They 
were  excluded  from  high  offices,  and  in  such  circumstances 
of  distrust  and  humiliation,  the  Hindus  never  got  an  oppor- 
tunity of  developing  their  political  genius  to  its  fullest  extent 
The  Muslims  were  the  favoured  children  of  the  state. 
As  everything  depended  upon  the  valour  and  strength  of 
*•  the  faithful,  the  state  accorded  to  them  a  pre- 

tionCial  C°ndi"  ferential  treatment.  From  time  to  time  con- 
cessions had  to  be  made  to  their  religious 
demands  by  the  state,  and  their  interests  had  to  be  consult- 
ed before  all  others.  Social  distinctions  prevailed  among 
the  Muslims,  and  some  of  t^g  kings  <npv*»r  appoint^  any  bvifr 
men  of  noble  birth  to  high  offices.  Balban,  who  was  highly 
punctilious  in  observing  the  etiquette  of  the  court  never 
•encouraged  upstarts,  and  on  one  occasion  refused  a  large  gift 
fipm  a  man  of  low  origin  who  had  amassed  a  large  fortune 



by  means  of  usury  and   monopolies.     Wine-drinking  and*, 
gambling  seem  to    have  been  the  common  vices  in   the 
twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries.    Balban  issued  an  edict 
prohibiting  the  use  of  liquor,  "and  the  example  of  his  son, 
Muhammad,  who  drank  wine  with  moderation  and  never- 
encouraged  any  kind  of  foolish  talk  in  his  presence,  had  a 
salutary  effect  upon  the  manners  and  morals  of  the  society 
which  gathered  round  him  at  Lahore.    Alauddin  also  adopt- 
ed drastic  measures  to  combat  the  evil  of  drink,  and  for- 
bade gambling  and  all  kinds  of  social  intercourse  among  the 
nobles.    As  long  as  he  lived,  he  strictly  enforced  his  rules, 
but  after  his  death  the  usual  laxity  prevailed.    A  small 
band  of  the  old  Alai  nobles  wondered  at  the  depravity  of 
Qutb-ud-din  Mubarak's  court ;  and  Barani  writes  that  the 
price  of  a  boy,  or  handsome  eunuch,  or  beautiful  girl  varied 
from  500  to  1,000  and  2,000  tanJcas.    But  the  social  tastes 
improved  considerably  under  Tughluq  Shah  and  his  illustri- 
ous son  Muhammad  Tughluq,  both  of  whom  were  free  from 
the  grosser  vices  of  the  age.    The  character  of  the  state  did 
not  wholly  deteriorate  even  under  Firuz  Tughluq,  though  its- 
military  vigour  declined  and,  barring  a  few  exceptions,  me- 
diocrity took  the  place  of  genius  in  all  departments  of  the  ad- 
ministration.   The  pomp  and  magnificence  of  the  state  was 
fully  maintained,  and  Afif  tells  us  that  on  every  Friday  after 
public  service  musicians,  athletes,  story-tellers,   numbering 
about  two  or  three  thousand  used  to  assemble  in  the  palace- 
and  entertain  the  populace  with  their  performances.    Slav- 
ery was  common,   and  slaves  of  ability  like  Khan-i-Jahan 
MaqbQl  could  rise  to  the  highest  position  in  the  state.    As  ] 
wealth  increased  in  Muslim  society,  the  hold  of  religion 
became  somewhat  weaker,  and  superstition  and  ignorance 
began  to  gain  ground.    Firuz  in  his  Fatuhat-i-Firuz  Shahi 


speaks  of  a  number  of  heretical  sects  which  he  suppressed 
with  a  high  hand,  and  whose  leaders  he  caused  to  be  im- 
prisoned, or  put  to  death.  The  liberty  of  women  was  re- 
stricted ;  they  were  not  allowed  to  go  to  visit  the  tombs  oi 
holy  men  outside  the  city,  and  Firuz  showed  his  intolerance 
by  prescribing  drastic  penalties  against  those  women  who 
disobeyed  his  edict. 

The  Hindus  had  becomejieggiigEate  with  the  loss  of  poli- 
tical power.  They  were  looked  upon  as  the  worst  enemies 
of  thejilien  government  that  had  been  set  up  in  their  midst. 
With  rare  exceptions,  they  were  invariably  excluded  from 
high  offices,  and  toleration  was  granted  to  them  only  on  con- 
dition of  paying  the  Jeziya.  During  the  reign  of  Alauddin 
the  Hindus  of  the  Doab  were  treated  with  severity,  and  the 
khuts,  balahars,  chowdhris  and  muqaddams  were  reduced 
to  a  state  of  abject  misery.  Qazi  Mughis-ud-dinfo  opinion 
about  the  position  of  the  Hindus  in  a  Muslim  state,  which 
has  been  explained  in  a  previous  chapter,  was  the  view  of 
the  average  mediaeval  canonist  and  was  acted  upon  by 
Muslim  rulers  in  normal  circumstances.  Barani  writes  that 
no  Hindu  could  hold  up  his  head  ;  and  in  their  houses  no 
sign  of  gold  or  silver  tankas  or  jitals  was  to  be  seen ;  and 
chowdharis  and  khuts  had  not  means  enough  to  ride  on 
horseback,  to  find  weapons,  to  get  fine  clothes,  or  to 
indulge  in  betel.  So  great  was  the  destitution  of  these  people 
writes  the  same  authority,  that  their  wives  went  to  serve 
in  the  houses  of  the  Muslims.  The  state  encouraged  con- 
versions, and  in  describing  the  reign  of  Qutb-ud-din  Mubarak 
Shah  Ibn  BatutS  writes,  that  when  a  Hindu  wished  to  be- 
come a  Muslim,  he  was  brought  before  the  Sultan  who  gave 
him  rich  robes  and  bangles  of  gold.  The  orthodox  party  had 
such  a  great  aversion  for  the  Hindus  that  Barani  on  seeing. 


their  slightly  improved  condition  under  Qutb-ud-din  Mubarak 
Shah,  which  was  due  partly  to  the  relaxation  of  the  rules 
of  Alauddin  and  partly  to  the  pro-Hindu  policy  of  Khusrau, 
laments  that  the  "  Hindus  again  found  pleasure  and  happi- 
ness and  were  beside  themselves  with  joy."  There  was  no 
active  persecution  under  the  first  two  Tughluqs,  but  Firuz 
reversed  the  policy  of  his  predecessors.  He  crowned  his 
policy  of  bigotry  by  levying  the  Jeziya  upon  the  Brahmans, 
who  had  hitherto  been  exempt.  When  the  Brahmans  re- 
monstrated against  this  step,  the  Sultan  reduced  the  scale 
•of  assessment  but  retained  the  tax.  The  Hindus  profited 
much  by  the  disorders  that  followed  the  death  of  Firuz,  but 
when  the  Lodis  established  their  power,  they  were  again 
persecuted  by  Sikandar,  and  although  there  was  no  econo- 
mic distress,  they  had  to  live  like  helots_within  the  empire. 
Ibn  Batuta  has  given  us  an  interesting  picture  of  India 
in  the  fourteenth  century,  and  from  his  narrative  we  learn  a 
great  deal  about  the  social  customs  and  manners  of  the 
time.  The  learned  class  had  lost  its  prestige,  and  Mu- 
hammad Tughluq,  who  was  terribly  stern  in  administering 
justice,  freely  punished  Shaikhs  and  Maulvis  for  their  mis- 
conduct. Slavery  was  common,  but  the  state  encouraged 
the  practice  of  manumission. !  To  keep  slave  girls  was  a 
recognised  fashion  of  the  time,  and  Badr-i-Chach,  the  famous 
poet,  had  to  offer  on  one  occasion  900  dinars  for  a  beautiful 
and  accomplished  girl.  The  traveller  praises  the  hospitality 
•of  the  Hindus,  and  observes  that  caste  rules  were  strictly 
observed.  The  Hindus  were  treated  as  inferior  to  the  Mus- 
lims. When  a  Hindu  came  to  offer  his  presents  to  the  Sul- 
tan in  the  Durbar,  the  Hajibs  shouted  out  'Hadnk  AllahS 

1    Ibn  BatUta,  III,  p.  236. 


or  may  God  bring  you  to  the  right  path.  Moral  offences 
were  severely  punished,  and  even  members  of  the  royal 
family  were  dealt  with  like  ordinary  men.  Prince  Masud's 
mother  was  stoned  to  death  in  accordance  with  the  law  for 
committing  adultery.  The  use  of  wine  was  interdicted, 
and  the  author  of  the  Masalik-al-absar  writes  that  the  in- 
habitants of  India  have  little  taste  for  wine  and  content 
themselves  with  betel  leaves. l  The  same  authority  says,  the- 
people  love  to  hoard  money,  and  whenever  a  man  is  asked 
about  the  extent  of  his  property,  he  replies  :  "  I  do  not 
know,  but  I  am  the  second  or  third  of  my  family  who  has 
laboured  to  increase  the  treasure  which  an  ancestor  deposit- 
ed in  a  certain  cavern,  or  in  certain  holes,  and  I  do  not  know 
how  much  it  amounts  to."2  Men  buried  their  wealth,  as 
they  do  even  now,  and  accepted  nothing  but  coined  money 
in  their  daily  transactions.  Ibn  Batuta  has  given  an  interest- 
ing account  of  the  law  of  debt  as  it  prevailed  in  the  four- 
teenth century,  and  he  is  supported  by  Marco  Polo  who- 
visited  India  before  him.  The  creditors  resorted  to  the  court 
to  seek  the  king's  protection  in  order  to  recovertheir  money. 
When  a  big  Amir  was  in  debt,  the  creditor  blocked  his  way 
to  the  royal  palace  and  shouted  in  order  to  implore  the 
Sultan's  help.  The  debtor  in  this  awkward  situation  either 
paid  or  made  a  promise  to  pay  at  some  future  date.  Some- 
times the  Sultan  himself  interfered  and  enforced  payments.3 
Thejpractice  of  Sati  and  self-destruction  was  in  vogue,  but 

l    Masalik,  Elliot,  III,  p.  581. 
a  Masahk,  Elliot,  III,  p.  584. 
Moreland,  India  at  the  Death  of  Akbar,  p.  284. 

He  says,  the  accumulation   of     large    hoards  was  essentially   a 
feature  of  Hindu  civilisation. 

8  Ibn  Batuta,  III,  p.4 11. 
Yule,  Marco  Polo,  II,  pp.  279-80. 


no  woman  could  become  a  Sati  without  obtaining  the  king's 
permission.1  Riding  on  ass  was  looked  upon  with  con- 
tempt as  it  is  today,  and  a  man  was  flogged  and  paraded  on 
an  ass  when  he  was  punished  for  some  offence  proved 
against  him.a  Men  believed  in  witchcraft,  magic,  and 
miracles  as  they  did  in  mediaaval  Europe,  and  the  per- 
formances of  the  Hindu  ascetics  called  Jogis  by'/Ibn  BatutS 
were  witnessed  even  by  the  Sultan.  Charity  was  practised 
on  a  large  scale,  and  men  endowed  large  khanqahs  (charity- 
houses)  where  food  was  distributed  gratis  to  the  poor. 
Though  the  Sultan's  purity  of  character  had  a  wholesome 
effect  on  Muslim  society,  it  does  not  appear  that  the 
sanctity  of  the  marriage  tie  was  always  recognised.  A 
man  like  Ibn  Batuta  married  more  than  four  times  in  a 
most  irresponsible  manner  and  abandoned  his  wives  one 
after  another. 8  The  education  of  women  was  not  altogether 
neglected,  and  the  traveller  writes  that  when  he  reached 
Hanaur.  he  found  there  13  schools  for  girls  and  23  for 
t>oys— a  thing  which  agreeably  surprised  him. 

The  customs  and  manners  of  the  people  of  the  Deccan 
were  in  many  respects  different  from  those  of  the 
north.  The  customs  of  self-immolation  and  Sati  prevailed, 
^nd  numerous  stone  obelisks  are  still  found  commemorating 
the  latter  practice.  The  Brahmans  were  treated  with 
special  respect,  and  the  Guru  was  held  in  high  esteem. 
The  dues  payable  from  Brahmans  were  touched  and  remit- 
ted. Polyandry  prevailed  among  the  Nairs  of  Malabar  and 
excited  no  scandal.  From  Ibn  Batata's  account  it  appears 

1  Ibn  Batuta,  III,  pp.  137—89. 

Men  drowned  themselves  in  the  Ganges  and  looked  upon  it  as  an 
•act  of  piety.    This  was  called  Jal  Samadhi. 
*  Ibn  BatUta,  III,  p.  441. 
8  Ibid.,  Ill,  pp.  887-38. 


*that  punishments  were  extremely  severe  in  Malabar  even 
for  the  most  trivial  offences.  A  man  was  sometimes  punish- 
ed with  death  even  for  stealing  a  cocoanut 

During  the  early  days  of  the  Muslim  conquest  the 
inhabitants  of  India  were  robbed  of  their  wealth  by  the 
Muslim  invaders,  and  Firishta  has  mentioned 
•condition.1"1"0  the  vast  booty  which  was  carried  off  by 
Mahmud  of  Ghazni  from  this  country.  The 
early  Muslim  rulers  were  occupied  too  much  with  conquest. 
Balban  was  the  first  ruler  who  paid  attention  to  the  mainte- 
nance of  internal  peace  and  order.  He  cleared  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Kampila  and,Patiali  of  robbers  and  highwaymen 
so  that  cultivation  flourished,  and  merchants  could  take 
their  goods  from  one  place  to  another  without  much 
-difficulty.1  Under  the  Khiljis  the  economic  conditions 
radically  changed.  They  have  been  mentioned  in  a  previous 
•chapter.  A  famine  occurred  in  Firuz's  reign,  and  Barani 
writes  that  grain  in  Delhi  rose  to  a  jital  per  sir.  The 
appalling  hardship  caused  by  the  scarcity  of  food  and  fodder 
was  so  great  in  the  Siwalik  hills,  that  the  Hindus  of  that 
-country  came  to  Delhi  with  their  families,  and  twenty  or 
thirty  of  them  drowned  themselves  in  the  Jamna  when 
they  found  life  unbearable.2  But  it  does  not  appear  that 
the  administration  exerted  itself  to  mitigate  human  suffer- 
ing. The  next  ruler,  the  greatest  of  the  line,  was  a  daring 
political  economist  and  a  bold  tariff -legislator.  His  ambi- 
tion of  world-conquest  led  him  to  build  up  an  economic 
system  which  is  one  of  the  marvels  of  mediaeval  statesman- 
ship. There  was  no  scarcity  of  wealth  in  the  country,  and 
Alauddin's  state  entry  into  Delhi  soon  after  his  accession 

1  Elliot,  III,  p.  105. 
1  Barani,  p.  212. 


was  marked  by  the  distribution  of  rich  gifts  among  the- 
people.  Five  mans  of  gold  stars  were  placed  in  a  majniq 
and  were  discharged  upon  the  spectators  who  had  thronged 
in  front  of  the  royal  canopy.  *  The  revenue  system  was- 
thoroughly  organised,  and  the  distant  provinces  in  the  empire 
were  correctly  surveyed  and  assessed.  The  khuts,  chowdhri* 
and  muqaddams  were  reduced  to  a  state  of  abject  poverty, 
and  Barani  expresses  great  satisfaction  at  their  miserable 
condition.  The  most  remarkable  achievement,  however, 
of  Alauddin  was  his  tariff -legislation.  The  prices  were  so 
low  that  a  soldier  with  one  horse  could  live  comfortably  with 
234  tankas  a  year,  i.e.,  less  than  twenty  tankas  per 
mensem,  which  will  barely  suffice  to  meet  even  the  cost  of 
a  horse  in  these  days.  Grain  was  stored  in  royal  granaries- 
and  was  sold  to  the  people  at  low  rates  in  times  of  scarcity. 
Ibn  Batuta  relates  that  he  witnessed  with  his  own  eyes 
in  Delhi  rice  which  had  been  stored  in  the  cellars  of 
Alauddin.  The  economic  system  of  Alauddin  collapsed 
after  his  death,  for  it  rested  upon  a  complete  disregard  of 
the  laws  of  political  economy.  The  reaction  began  after 
his  death.  The  bazar  people  rejoiced  and  sold  their  goods 
at  their  own  price.  The  tariff  laws  fell  into  disuse,  and 
Barani  laments  the  disappearance  of  cheap  prices  ;  but  there 
was  no  deficiency  of  crops,  and  the  state  never  experienced 
any  financial  break-down.  Nasir-ud-din  Khusrau  squandered 
the  treasures  of  the  state  in  order  to  win  adherents  from 
among  the  nobles,  and  yet  Muhammad  Tughluq  found 
sufficient  money  to  enable  him  to  embark  upon  costly  ex- 
periments. Muhammad's  economic  measures  failed  disas- 
trously, but  his  financial  position  remained  unshaken.  The 

1  Barani,  p.  245. 


failure  of  the  token  currency  did  not  affect  the  stability 
of  the  state  or  destroy  its  credit,  for  the  Sultan  at  once 
repealed  his  edict  and  permitted  the  people  to  exchange 
gold  and  silver  coins  for  those  of  copper.    For  about  a 
decade,   famine  stalked  the  land  and  reduced  the  people 
to  a  state  of  utter  helplessness.    A  vigorous  famine  policy 
was  adopted  by  the  administration,  and  Barani  writes  that 
in  two  years  about  70  lakhs  of  tankaa  were  advanced  as 
Sondhar  or  Taqavi  to  the  agriculturists.    Ibn  BatutS  dwells 
at  length  upon  the  Sultan's  famine  policy  and  says  that 
grain  was   supplied    from    the  royal  stores,   and  the  faqias 
and  qazis   were  required  to  make  lists  of  needy  men  in 
each  parish,  which  were  submitted  to  the  Sultan  for  orders. 
On  another  occasion  when  dire  distress  prevailed,  the  Qazis, 
clerks,   and   Amirs,   went  from  parish  to  parish,  and  gave 
relief  to  the  famine-stricken  people  at  the  rate  of  one  and  a 
half  western  ritals  per  day.     Large  khanqahs  assisted  the 
state  in  administering  relief,   and  Ibn  Batuta  writes  that 
hundreds  of  men  were  fed  at  the  khanqahs  of  Qutb-ud-din,. 
of  which  he  was  the  mutwalli,  and  which  contained  a  staff 
of  460  men.     The  state  gave    liberal   encouragement    to 
industry.    There  was  a  state  manufactory  in  which  400  silk 
weavers  were  employed,  and  stuff  of  all  kinds  was  prepared. 
There  were  also  500  manufacturers  of  golden  tissues  in 
the   service  of  the  Sultan,  who  wove  gold  brocades  for  the 
royal  household  and  the  nobility.     Trade  was  carried  on 
with  foreign  countries ;  and  Marco  Polo  and  Ibn  Batuta 
both  speak  of  ports  which  were  visited  by  merchants  from 
foreign  countries.  Broach  and  Calicut  were  famous  centres 
of  trade,  and  Ibn  BatutS  says  of  the  latter  that  merchants 
from    all    parts    of     the     world    came    there    to    buy 

F.  17 


The  trade  conditions  were  favourable  in  the  thirteenth 
and  fourteenth  centuries.  Wassaf  describes  Gujarat  as  a  rich 
and  populous  country  containing  7,000  villages  and  towns  and 
the  people  rolling  in  wealth.  The  cultivation  was  prosperous. 
The  vineyards  yielded  blue  grapes  twice  a  year.  The  soil  was 
so  fertile  that  the  cotton  plants  spread  their  branches  like 
willows  and  plane  trees,  and  yielded  crops  for  several  years 
in  succession.  Marco  Polo  also  speaks  of  extensive  cotton 
cultivation,  arid  says  that  the  cotton  trees  were  full  six  paces 
high  and  attained  to  the  age  of  twenty  years.  Pepper,  ginger, 
and  indigo  were  produced  in  large  quantities.  The  local 
manufacturers  prepared  mats  of  red  and  blue  leather,  inlaid 
with  figures  of  birds  and  beasts,  and  embroidered  with  gold 
and  silver  wires.  Cambay  is  also  described  as  a  great  centre 
of  trade  where  indigo  was  produced  in  abundance.  Merchants 
came  with  ships  and  cargoes,  but  what  they  chiefly  brought 
into  the  country  was  gold,  silver,  and  copper.  The  traveller 
writes  :  "the  inhabitants  are  good  and  live  by  their  trade  and 
manufacture. "  Mabar  was  full  of  wealth,  but  much  of  it,  as 
Marco  Polo  says,  was  spent  in  purchasing  horses  which  were 
very  scarce  in  that  country.  Bengal  is  described  by  Ibn 
Batuta  as  a  rich  and  fertile  province.  Prices  were  cheap, 
and  men  could  live  in  ease  and  comfort  with  small  incomes. 

From  1351  to  1388  the  economic  prosperity  remained  at 
a  high  level.  The  irrigation  facilities  provided  by  Firuz 
Tughluq  gave  a  great  stimulus  to  agriculture,  and  the 
revenue  multiplied.  The  revenue  of  Delhi  and  its  territories 
rose  to  six  crores  and  85  lakhs  of  tank&s,  while  the  revenue 
of  the  Doab  alone  amounted  to  85  lakhs  of  tankas.  The 
cheapness  of  prices  enabled  officials  of  the  state  and  Amirs 
to  amass  large  fortunes.  Prices  were  so  cheap  that  men 
could  go  from  one  place  to  another  with  paltry  amounts. 


A  man  going  from  Delhi  to  Firuzabad  had  to  pay  four 
silver  jitals  for  a  carriage,  six  for  a  mule,  12  for  a  horse, 
and  half  a  tanka  for  a  palanquin.  Coolies  were  found  ready 
for  employment,  and  the  contemporary  chronicler  writes 
that  they  earned  a  decent  income. 

The  age  of  economic  distress  began  towards  the  close 
or  the  fourteenth  century.  The  empire  broke  up  into  several 
independent  states,  and  Timur's  invasion  in  1399  caused 
much  confusion  and  drained  the  wealth  of  the  country. 
Trade  and  agriculture  were  dislocated,  and  the  cities  that 
lay  on  the  route  of  the  invader  were  robbed  of  their  wealth. 
The  empire  of  Delhi  lost  its  importance,  and  provincial 
kingdoms  became  famous  for  their  wealth,  military 
resources,  and  architectural  activities,  which  have  been 
described  in  their  proper  place. 

Art  flourished  remarkably  in  the  early  middle  ages. 
The  debt  of  Indo-Moslem  art  to  India  is  a  matter  of  contro- 
versy. There  are  some  who  hold  that  it  is 


a  variety  of  Islamic  art,  while  others  like 
Havel  1  maintain  that  it  is  a  modified  form  of  Hindu  art. 
The  truth  lies  midway  between  these  two  extreme  views. 
There  is  no  doubt  that  Islamic  art  was  considerably 
modified  by  Hindu  master-builders  and  architects,  but  it  is 
wrong  to  suppose  that  it  had  no  ideals  of  its  own.  By  the 
time  the  Muslim  power  was  established  in  India,  the 
Muslims  had  acquired  a  fine  taste  for  buildings  and  had 
developed  their  own  notions  about  architecture*  The  condi- 
tions in  which  the  Jndo-Moslem  art  grew  up  madte  it 
necessary  that  there  should  be  a  fusion  of  tb*v  two 
ideals.  Hinduism  recommended  idolatry  whiM  .  Islam 
forbade  it;  Hinduism  favoured  decoration  and 
ness  white  Islam  enjoined  puritanical 


These  different  ideals,  so  strangely  in  contrast  with  each 
other,  produced  by  their  junction  a  new  kind  of  art  which 
for  the  sake  of  convenience  has  been  called  the  Indo- Mos- 
lem art.  Gradually  as  the  Hindu  master-builders  and  crafts- 
men began  to  express  Islamic  ideas  in  the  shape  of  brick 
and  stone,  the  process  of  amalgamation  set  in.  Both  learnt 
from  each  other,  and  though  the  Muslim's  handling  of 
ornament  was  not  so  exquisite,  he  derived  the  fullest  advan- 
tage from  the  new  ideas  and  materials  supplied  to  him  by 
the  Indian  conquest.  Sir  John  Marshall  describes  with  clear- 
ness the  process  of  fusion  in  these  words : — 

"  Thus,  a  characteristic  feature  of  many  Hindu 
temples,  as  well  as  of  almost  every  Muslim  mosque— 
a  feature  derived  from  the  traditional  dwelling 
house  of  the  East  and  as  familiar  in  India  as  in  other 
parts  of  Asia — was  the  open  court  encompassed  by 
chambers  or  colonnades,  and  such  temples  as  were  built 
on  this  plan  naturally  lent  themselves  to  conversion 
into  mosques  and  would  be  the  first  to  be  adopted  for 
that  purpose  by  the  conquerors.  Again,  a  fundamental- 
characteristic  that  supplied  a  common  link  between  the 
two  styles  was  the  fact  that  both  Islamic  and  Hindu  art 
were  inherently  decorative.  Ornament  was  as  vital  to 
the  one  as  to  the  other ;  both  were  dependent  on  it  for 
their  very  being." 

The  Arabs  reared  no  buildings,  but  they 'appreciated 
Hindu  culture  and  admired  the  skill  of  the  Indian  architects 
and  craftsmen.  Mahmud  of  Ghazni  was  so  struck  with  the 
skill  of  Hindu  architects  that  he  carried  to  Ghazni  thousands 
of  masons  and  artisans  whom  he  employed  in  building  the 
famous  mosque  known  as  the  'celestial  bride.'  He  was 


followed  by  other  warriors  of  Islam  like  Muhammad  of 
Ghor  and  his  gallant  slaves  Qutb-ud-din  and  Iltutmish  who 
accomplished  the  conquest  of  Northern  India  during  the 
years  1193—1236  A.D.  The  principal  monuments  erected 
during  the  reigns  of  Qutb-ud-din  and  Iltutmish  were  the 
mosque  at  Ajmer,  the  Qutb  mosque  and  Minar  at  Delhi 
and  certain  buildings  at  Badaon.  Hindu  craftsmen  were 
employed  to  construct  these  buildings,  and  the  influence  of 
Hindu  architecture  is  still  traceable  in  them.  The  most 
striking  thing  in  the  Qutb  mosque  is  the  screen  of  eleven 
pointed  arches  of  which  Fergusson  speaks  in  terms  of  great 
admiration.  The  Qutb  Minar  was  begun  by  Qutb-ud-din 
who  built  the  first  storey,  but  it  was  finally  completed  by 
Iltutmish.  It  was  named  after  the  famous  saint  Qutb- 
ud-din  who  is  popularly  known  as  Qutb  Shah.  It  is  nearly 
242  feet  high,  and  is  still  looked  upon  as  a  great  work  of 
art.  The  minar  was  struck  by  lightning  in  the  time  of 
Firuz  Tughluq  who  ordered  the  fourth  storey  to  be  dis- 
mantled, and  replaced  by  two  smaller  storeys  as  is  shown  by 
an  inscription  of  the  same  king.  In  1503  the  upper  storeys 
were  again  repaired  by  Sikandar  Lodi.  The  adhai  din  ka 
jhonpara  at  Ajmer  built  by  Qutb-ud-din  was  beautified 
by  Iltutmish  with  a  screen  which  still  exists.  The  story 
that  it  was  constructed  in  two  and  a  half  days  seems  to  be 
a  myth,  for  no  amount  of  skill  or  industry  could  have  reared 
a  building  of  this  kind  in  such  a  short  time.  Probably  the 
name  dates  from  the  Maratha  times  when  an  annual  fair  was 
held  there  which  lasted  for  two  and  a  half  days.  Other  not- 
able buildings  of  this  period  are  the  Hauz-i-Shamshi  and  the^ 
Shamsi  Idgah  built  by  Iltutmish  during  his  governorship 
of  Badaon  (1203—9)  and  the  Jam»i-masjid  which  was  built 
in  1223  twelve  years  after  his  accession  to  the  throne. 


Under  Alauddin  Khilji  the  power  of  the  Sultanate  of 
Delhi  increased  enormously.    Though  his  time  was  largely 
spent  in  wars,  he  ordered  the  construction  of  several  forts, 
tanks,   and  palaces.    The  fort  of  Siri  was  built  by  him  near 
a  village  of  the  same  name  at  a  distance  of  two  miles  to 
the  north-east  of  Qila  Rai  Pithaura.    The  walls  of  the  fort 
were  built  of  stone  and  masonry,  and  its  fortifications  were 
extremely  strong.    The  palace  of  Hazar  Situn  (or  thousand 
pillars)  was  built   by   Alauddin,  and  Barani  writes   that 
the  heads  of  thousands  of  Mughals  were  buried  in  the  found- 
ations and  walls  of  this  magnificent  building.    The  Alai 
Darwaza  which  was  built  in  1311  is  '  one  of  the  most  trea- 
sured gems  of  Islamic  architecture ' ;  other  notable  monu- 
ments are  the  Hauz  Alai  and  the  Hauz-i-Khas  which  are  so 
famous  in  history.    The  fourteenth  century  was  a  period  of 
great  stress  and  storm  in  the  history  of  the  Delhi  Sultanate. 
The  Mongols  constantly  hammered  at  the  gates  of  Delhi,  and 
the  Hindu  Rajas  defied  the  authority  of  the  central  power 
The  result  of  this  was  that  the  architecture  of  the  Tughluq 
period  became  massive  and  simple.    The  most  typical  build- 
ing of  this  style  is  the  tomb  of  Tughluq  Shah  which  still  exists 
near  the  old  fort  of  Tughluqabad.    Firuz  was  a  magnificent 
builder,  who  spent  vast  sums  of  money  on  towns,   palaces, 
mosques,   tanks,  reservoirs  and  gardens.    Many  new  build- 
ings were  constructed,  and  old  ones  were  repaired.    He 
founded  the  city  of  Firuzabad,  the  ruins  of  which  still- 
exist  near  the  modern  Shahjahanbad,  and  supplied  it  with 
abundant  water  by  means  of  a  well- managed  canal  system/ 
He  built  two  other  cities  Fatahabad  and  Hisar  Firoza,  and 
laid  the  foundations  of  a  third  called  Jaunpur  on  the  bank 
of  the  Gomti  to  commemorate  the  name  of  his  illustrious, 
cousin  Muhammad  Tughluq.    He  caused  two  Asokan  pillars. 


to  be  removed  to  Delhi,  one  from  Tobra  in  the  Ambala 
district  and  the  other  from  a  village  in  the  Meerut  district. 
The  contemporary  chronicler  Afif  has  given  a  highly  in- 
teresting account  of  the  transfer  of  these  monoliths.  The 
Sultan's  interest  in  buildings  was  so  keen  that  he  never 
permitted  the  construction  of  any  building  unless  its  plan 
was  carefully  scrutinised  by  the  Diwan-i-wizarat  and  finally 
approved  by  him.  As  Firuz  was  an  orthodox  Muslim,  the 
austerity  of  the  new  style  remained  undisturbed,  and  it  was 
left  for  the  provincial  dynasties  which  came  into  existence 
after  his  death  to  give  an  impetus  to  the  development  of 

The  kings  of  Jaunpur  were  great  patrons  of  art  and 
literature  Their  buildings  exist  to  this  day,  and  are  fine 
specimens  of  the  Indo-Muhammadan  art  The  Atala 
masjid  which  was  completed  in  the  reign  of  Sultan  Ibrahim, 
the  Jam-i-masjid,  built  under  the  patronage  of  Husain  Shah, 
the  Lai  Darwaza  mosque,  and  the  broken  fagade  of  the 
Jahangiri,  the  Khalis  Mukhlis  are  some  of  the  most  remark- 
able specimens  of  Indian  architecture.  Similar  interest  in 
art  was  shown  by  the  Sunni  rulers  of  Gaur  who  developed  a 
style  different  from  that  of  Delhi  and  Jaunpur.  The  build- 
ings of  Gaur  are  made  entirely  of  brick,  and  seem  to  bear 
traces  of  the  imitation  of  Hindu  temple  architecture.  The 
most  remarkable  buildings  are  the  tomb  of  Husain  Shah, 
the  greater  and  lesser  Golden  Mosques,  and  the  Qadam 
Rasul  built  by  Sultan  Nusrat  Shah.  The  small  Golden  or 
Eunuch's  Mosque  is  a  solidly  constructed  building  whichi 
'  is  carved  inside  and  out  with  beautifully  chiselled  designs, 
including  the  Indian  lotus. '  But  the  most  striking  of  all 
is  the  Adina  Mosque  at  Pandua,  twenty  miles  from 
which  was  built  by  Sikandar  Shah  in  1368  A.D. 


The  most  beautiful  of  all  provincial  styles  of  architecture 
was  that  of  Gujarat.  Before  the  Muslim  conquest,  Gujarat 
was  under  the  influence  of  Jainism,  and  naturally  when  the 
country  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Muslims,  the  master- 
builders  whom  the  Muslims  employed  to  construct  their 
buildings  adopted  Hindu  and  Jain  designs  with  necessary 
modifications  to  suit  the  puritanical  tastes  of  Islam  Ahmad 
Shah  was  a  great  builder.  He  founded  the  city  of  Ahmada- 
bad  in  the  first  half  of  the  15th  century  and  built  mosques 
and  palaces.  Numerous  buildings  were  erected  during  the 
15th  century  at  Ahmadabad,  Cam  bay,  Champanir  and  other 
important  places.  One  of  the  most  beautiful  buildings  is  the 
mosque  of  Muhafiz  Khan  which  was  built  towards  the  close 
of  the  century.  Besides  mosques  and  tombs  Gujarat  is  fa- 
mous for  its  step-wells,  irrigation  works,  and  public  orchards. 

Mandu  was  equally  famous  for  its  buildings  in  the  15th 
century.  The  massive  buildings  that  exist  to  this  day  bear 
testimony  to  the  power  and  magnificence  of  the  Sultans  of 
Mandu.  Some  of  the  most  remarkable  buildings  are  the 
Jam-i-masjid,  the  Hindola  mahal,  the  Jahaz  mahal,  the 
tomb  of  Hushang  Shah,  and  the  palaces  of  Baz  Bahadur 
and  Rupmati. 

It  was  not  only  in  North  India  that  art  made  progress, 
but  in  the  Deccan  also  it  received  encouragement  from  the 
Bahmani  and  Vijayanagar  kings.  The  Bahmani  kings  found- 
ed cities  and  built  mosques  and  fortresses.  The  mosques  at 
Gulburga  and  Bidar  are  noble  specimens  of  Deccan  art. 
Some  of  the  important  buildings  constructed  by  them  are' 
the  Jam-i-masjid  at  Gulbarga,  built  by  Persian  architects, 
the  Ghand  Minar  at  Dauiatabad,  and  the  college  of  Mahmud 
GSwan,  also  built  in  the  Persian  style.  But  the  Bahmanids 
are  famous  in  history  for  their  fortresses,  the  chief  of  which 



those  of  Gwaligarh,  Narnala  and  Mahur  in  the  Adilabad 
district  which  was  built  as  an  outpost  against  the  Hindu 
-chiefs  of  the  Satpura  ranges.  The  fortresses  of  Parenda, 
Naldurg,  and  Panhala  were  built  by  them  to  consolidate 
their  power.  At  Gulburga  there  are  two  groups  of  import- 
ant buildings.  One  group  contains  the  tombs  of  Alauddin 
Hasan  Bahman  Shah,  Muhammad  Shah,  Muhammad  Shah 
II,  and  two  others  of  a  later  date.  The  other  group  known 
-collectively  as  the  Haft  Gumbad  or  seven  domes  contains 
the  tombs  of  Mujahid  Shah,  Daud  Shah,  Ghiyasuddin  and 
his  family,  and  Firuz  Shah  and  his  family.  All  these  bear  a 
great  resemblance  to  one  another  The  city  of  Bidar  was 
laid  out  by  Ahmad  Shah.  It  has  a  fort  and  contains  two 
other  buildings  of  note,  the  tomb  of  Ahmad  Shah  Wali  and 
the  Sola  mosque  which  was  built  in  the  reign  of  Muhammad 
Shah  III.  The  most  remarkable  architecture  is  that  of  Bija- 
pur  among  the  Deccan  kingdoms.  The  tomb  of  Muham- 
mad Adil  Shah,  known  as  the  Gol  Gumbaj,  is  a  stately 
•edifice,  scarcely  inferior  to  any  other  building  of  the  same 

The  kings  of  Vijayanagar  were  in  no  way  behind  the 
Bahmanids  in  this  respect.  They  had  a  great  enthusiasm  for 
building  council  chambers,  public  offices,  irrigation  works, 
aqueducts,  temples  and  palaces  which  were  richly  deco- 
rated. There  is  evidence  to  prove  that  an  excellent 
system  of  irrigation  prevailed  throughout  the  city,  and 
large  tanks  were  built  for  the  storage  of  water.  Numer- 
ous temples  were  built,  the  most  famous  of  which  was  the 
Vithala  temple  described  by  Fergusson  as  a  most  characteris- 
tic specimen  of  the  Dravidian  style.  Sculpture  and  painting 
were  not  unknown,  and  it  appears  that  artists  acquired 
considerable  proficiency  in  these  branches  as  is  shown  by 


the  accounts  of  the  Portuguese  chroniclers  and  the  Persian 
envoy  Abdur  Razzaq. 

It  is  impossible  to  give  here  an  exhaustive  account  of 

the  various  branches  of  mediaeval  literature,  and  all  that  can 

be  done  here  is  to  give  a  succinct  summary 

iterative,       ^  ^e   work  (jone  by    famous  writers  and 

scholars.  Persian  literature  flourished  remarkably  under 
court  patronage.  Amir  Khusrau,  the  poet  laureate  of  the 
empire  under  the  Khiljis  and  Tughluqs,  was  the  greatest 
poet  of  the  time.  He  wrote  copiously,  and  his  numerous 
works  are  still  read  with  interest  His  contemporary, 
Mir  Hasan  Dehlvi,  was  also  a  poet  of  no  mean  order. 
He  enjoyed  the  patronage  of  Muhammad,  the  martyr 
prince,  and  Sultan  Muhammad  Tughluq.  He  composed  a 
Diwan  and  wrote  the  memoirs  of  his  patron  saint  Shaikh 
Nizam-ud-din  Aulia.  The  works  of  the  court  historians  are 
too  many  to  mention  The  most  famous  of  them  are  the 
Tarikh-i-Firuzshahi  of  Zia-ud-din  Barani  and  Shams-i-Siraj 
Afif  and  the  Tarikh-i-Mubarakshahi  of  Yahya  bin  Abdullah 
and  the  works  of  Afghan  historians.  Jaunpur  was  a  famous 
seat  of  learning  in  the  middle  ages,  and  Ibrahim  Shah 
Sharqi  was  a  generous  patron  of  letters.  Several  literary, 
philosophical,  and  theological  works  were  written  during 
his  reign. 

The  Muslim  scholars  were  not  wholly  unacquainted 
with  Sanskrit.  Al  Biruni  who  came  to  India  in  the  tenth 
century  was  a  profound  Sanskrit  scholar  who  translated 
several  works  on  philosophy  and  astronomy  from  Sanskrit 
into  Arabic.  His  Tarikh-i-Hind  is  still  a  mine  of  information 
about  Hindu  civilisation.  In  the  14th  century  when  Firuz 
Tughluq  captured  the  fort  of  Nagarkot,  he  ordered  a  work 
on  philosophy,  divination  and  omens  to  be  translated  into 


Persian  and  named  it  Dalayal-i-Firuzshahi.  Literary  ac- 
tivity did  not  altogether  cease  under  the  Lodis.  During 
Sikandar's  reign  a  medical  treatise  was  translated  from 
Sanskrit  into  Persian. 

The  Hindus  were  not  behind  the  Muslims  in  literary  ad- 
vancement. Though  court  patronage  was  denied  to  them,  they 
continued  to  produce  high  class  literature  both   in  Sanskrit 
and  Hindi  in  centres  away  from  Muslim  influence.     Rama- 
nuja  wrote  his  commentaries  on  the  Brahma  Sutras  in 
which  he  expounded  the  doctrine  of  Bhakti.    In  the  twelfth 
century  Jayadeva  wrote  his  Gita  Govinda,  a  noble  specimen 
of  lyrical  poetry   which  describes  the  love  of  Krisna  and 
Radha,  their  estrangement  and  final  union,  and  the  sports 
of  Krisna  with  the  milkmaids  of  Vraj.  The  Drama  flourished 
in  those  parts  of  India  where  the  Muslim  power  was  slow 
to  reach.    Some  of  the  Dramas  worthy  of  mention  are  the 
Lalita   Vigraharaja   Nataka,  Harikeli  Nataka,  Parvati- 
parinaya,  Vidagdha  Madhava  and  Lalita  Madhava.     Re- 
garding legal  literature  it  may  be  said  that  some  of  the  best 
commentaries  were  written  during  this  period.     Works  on 
astronomy  were  also  written,  but  Hindu  scholars  paid  little 
attention  to  history.    The  only  work  which  has  any  claim  to 
be  called  a   historical  treatise  is  Kalhana's  Rajatarangini 
or  *  River  of  Kings  *    which  was  composed   towards  the 
middle  of  the  twelfth  century. 

A  word  may  be  said  about  the  development  of  verna- 
cular literature  during  this  period.  The  earliest  writers  of 
Hindi  are  Chandbardqj.  Jagnayak.  the  author  of  Alahkhand, 
Amir  Khusrau,  the  parrot  of  Hind,  and  Baba  Gorakhnatb. 
who  flourished  in  the  fourteenth  century.  Later  the  BhaktL 
cult  gave  a  great  impetus  to  the  Hindi  literature.  Jtabir, 
Nanak,  and  Miraba^composed  their  hymns  and  devotional 


songs  in  Hindi,  and  their  contributions  greatly  enriched  the 
literature  of  the  language.  The  preachers  of  the  Radha 
Kri§na  cult  wrote  and  sang  in  Vrajbha$a  and  consider- 
ably helped  the  growth  of  Hindi  literature.  In  Bengal,  Guja- 
rat, Maharashtra,  and  even  in  the  distant  south  the  verna- 
culars made  much  progress.  In  Bengal,  a  vernacular  transla- 
tion of  the  Sanskrit  Ramayana  was  prepared  by  Krittivasa 
whose  work  is  '  in  fact  the  Bible  of  the  people  of  the  Gange- 
tic  valley. '  The  Bhagwat  and  the  Mahabharata  were  also 
translated  under  the  patronage  of  the  state.  Namadeva, 
the  Maratha  saint,  largely  wrote  in  Marathi,  and  some  of  his 
hymns  are  still  preserved  in  the  Granth  Sahib,  the  Bible  of 
the  Sikhs.  In  the  South,  the  earliest  works  in  Tamil  and 
Kanarese  were  produced  by  the  Jains,  but  in  the  13th  and 
14th  centuries  a  great  impetus  was  given  to  literary  effort  by 
the  £aiva  movement.  It  was  during  this  period  that  Sayana 
and  Madhava  Vidyaranya,  two  brothers,  wrote  their  works 
which  have  placed  them  among  the  leaders  of  Sanskrit  scho- 
larship. The  former  wrote  his  famous  commentary  on  the 
Vedas,  and  the  latter  followed  his  brother's  example  by  writ- 
ing several  philosophical  works.  The  Telugu  literature 
received  much  encouragement  from  the  kings  of  Vijayana- 
gar.  Krisna  Deva  Raya  took  a  keen  interest  in  letters,  and 
was  himself  the  author  of  several  works  of  merit. 

The  advent  of  Islam  wrought  great  changes  in  the 
religious  and  social  outlook  of  the  people  of  India.  Hindu- 
ism failed  to  absorb  the  Muslims  as  it 
had  absorbed  the  Greeks,  Huns,  Scythians 
and  Sakas,  who  became  completely  merged 
in  the  native  population.  It  was  because  the  Muslim 
had  a  clear,  definite  faith  of  his  own  to  which  he 
adhered  with  a  tenacity  and  enthusiasm  unknown  to 


the  Hindus.  He  considered  his  religion  to  be  in  no  way 
inferior  to  that  hydra-headed  Hinduism  which  he  found 
prevalent  among-  the  vanquished  races  in  India,  and  this 
conviction  of  superiority  further  strengthened  bis  belief 
in  the  Quran  and  the  Prophet.  The  idolatry  and  elaborate 
ritual  of  the  Hindus  suggested  to  him  by  contrast  the 
value  of  his  own  religion,  which  mainly  consisted  in  its 
simplicity  and  emphasis  on  the  unity  of  the  God-head.  But 
in  spite  of  these  differences  it  was  inevitable  that  the 
Hindus  and  Muslims  should  come  in  contact  with  each  other 
Time  applied  its  healing  balm  to  old  bitternesses,  and  culti- 
vated minds  on  both  sides  began  to  desire  some  sort  of 
rapprochement  between  the  two  peoples  The  early  Turks 
who  invaded  Hindustan  did  not  bring  their  wives  with 
them.  They  married  in  the  country,  and  their  offspring 
naturally  became  less  Turkish  and  more  Indian  in  their 
habits  and  sentiments.  The  Indian  women  who  dominated 
the  Turkish  household  exerted  a  potent  influence  in  mould- 
ing the  character  of  the  future  generation  of  Musalmans, 
and  as  Havel  1  puts  it  :  '  the  traditional  devotion  and  tender- 
ness of  Indian  motherhood  helped  greatly  to  soften  the 
ferocity  of  the  Turki  and  Mongol  nomad.'  There  were  other 
factors  which  helped  the  process  of  reconciliation.  Royal 
patronage  and  sympathy  won  the  goodwill  of  the  Hindus 
in  certain  cases,  and  improved  the  social  relations  between 
the  two  races.  The  Musalman  realised  the  impossibility  of 
completely  crushing  out  the  Hindus,  while  the  Hindu  learnt 
by  slow  and  painful  experience  that  it  was  useless  to  wage 
perpetual  war  against  foes  who  had  come  to  stay  in  the 
land.  The  Hindu  converts  who  were  obliged  to  renounce 
their  faith  from  political  pressure  or  economic  necessity 
did  not  wholly  give  up  their  habits  and  usages.  Their 


contact  with  Muslims  naturally  produced  an  intermingling 
of  the  two  faiths  and  removed  many  angularities  on  both 
sides.  It  created  a  sympathetic  frame  of  mind  which 
greatly  assisted  the  forces  that  were  steadily  working  to 
bring  about  a  better  understanding  between  the  two  peoples. 
Islam  held  out  a  new  hope  of  progress  and  social  justice  to 
the  low  caste  Hindus,  who  were  inclined  to  regard  it  with- 
out feelings  of  aversion  or  contempt.  Then,  there  was  the 
influence  of  Muslim  saints  like  Parid  Shakarganj  of  Pak- 
patan  and  Nizamuddin  Aulia  of  Delhi  in  Northern  India 
and  of  Ghisudaraz  in  the  south.  They  counted  their 
•disciples  among  the  members  of  both  communities,  and 
their  teachings  appealed  to  all  men  without  distinction  of 
caste  or  creed.  All  differences  were  overlooked  in  their  pre- 
sence, and  a  new  bond  of  sympathy  was  created  which 
united  those  who  offered  homage  to  them. 

The  Muslims  introduced  a  new  spirit  into  Hindu  society 
by  laying  stress  on  the  Unity  of  God.  The  doctrine  of  the 
Unity  of  God  was  not  unknown  to  the  Hindus,  but  its 
emphatic  assertion  in  Islam  had  a  great  effect  on  teachers 
like  Namadeva,  Ramanand,  Kabir  and  Nanak  in  whom  we 
see  a  happy  blending  of  Hindu  and  Muslim  influences. 
Impressed  by  the  simplicity  of  the  Muslim  creed  and  its 
insistence  on  the  oneness  of  God,  they  denounced  idolatry 
and  caste  and  preached  that  true  religion  did  not  consist  in 
meaningless  ritual  and  empty  forms  but  in  Bhakti  or  true 
devotion  to  God.  The  Bhakti  cult  made  great  progress 
under  the  influence  of  the  great  masters  who  followed 
Ramanuja,  and  who  dominated  the  religious  mind  of  India 
during  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  centuries. 

The  first  great  exponent  of  Bhakti  was  Ramanuja 
who  lived  in  the  twelfth  century  and  preached  the  worship 


of  Visnu  in  Southern  India.  His  work  marks  a  reaction 
against  Ankara's  advait  doctrine.  He  maintained  that 
individual  souls  are  not  essentially  one  with  the  Supreme, 
though  they  all  emanate  from  him  as  sparks  from  fire,  and 
that  the  Supreme  is  not  purely  abstract  Being,  but 
.possesses  real  qualities  of  goodness  and  beauty  in  an  infinite 
degree.  Thus  he  inculcated  devotion  to  a  Saguna  I&vara9 
endowed  with  a  number  of  beautiful  qualities,  and  his 
teachings  appealed  to  large  numbers  of  men  in  South  India. 

Another  teacher  who  laid  stress  on  Bhakti  was  Rama- 
nand  —fifth  in  apostolic  succession  from  Ramanuja— who 
flourished  in  the  fourteenth  century  in  Northern  India. 
The  special  feature  of  Ramanand 's  teachings  is  that  he 
entirely  discarded  caste  rules,  enjoined  in  the  Brahmanical 
system.  He  wandered  about  the  country,  visiting  holy 
places  and  establishing  the  worship  of  Rama  and  Sita.  He 
admitted  to  his  discipleship  men  of  all  castes,  and  is  said 
to  have  twelve  chief  disciples  (chelas)  among  whom  were 
included  a  barber,  a  chamar  and  a  weaver.  Ramanand  was 
the  first  reformer  who  employed  Hindi,  the  chief  vernacular 
of  Northern  India,  to  interpret  his  doctrines,  and  therefore 
acquired  much  popularity  with  the  submerged  classes  among 
the  Hindus.  His  followers  worship  Visnu  under  the  form 
of  Ramchandra  with  his  consort  Sita,  and  their  chief  centre 
^s  Ajodhia,  the  ancient  capital  of  Kosala  in  the  United 
Provinces.  Of  all  the  disciples  of  Ramanand  Kabir  was 
the  most  famous. 

Another  offshoot  of  Vaisnavism  was  the  Kri§na  cult  of 

which  Vallabhacharya  was  the  most  distinguished  preacher. 

He  was  a  Tailang  Brahman  and  was  born  in   1479  in  the 

Telugu  country  in  the  south.    From  his  early  boyhood  he 

.showed  signs  of  genius,  and  in  a  short  time  acquired  an 


immense  amount  of  learning.  He  visited  Mathura,  Brinda- 
ban,  and  many  other  sacred  places,  and  finally  settled  in 
Benares  where  he  wrote  his  philosophical  works.  Vallabha 
Swami  taught  that  there  is  no  distinction  between  the 
Brahma  and  the  individual  soul,  and  that  the  latter  could 
get  rid  of  its  bondage  by  means  of  Bhakti.  In  one  of  his- 
works  he  says  that  the  home,  the  centre  of  all  worldly 
desires,  should  be  renounced  in  every  way,  but  if  it  be 
impracticable,  one  should  dedicate  it  to  the  service  of  God, 
for  it  is  He  alone  who  can  free  man  from  evil.  The  wor~ 
ship  of  Krisna  was  inculcated,  and  the  disciples  were 
required  to  offer  everything  in  his  service.  The  formula  of 
dedication  had  no  other  meaning  except  that  the 
disciple  should  consecrate  everything  to  his  God.  But 
those  who  came  after  Vallabhacharya  departed  from 
the  true  spirit  of  his  teachings.  They  interpreted  them  in 
a  material  sense.  And  hence  the  system  lent  itself  to- 
great  abuse.  They  taught  by  precept  and  example  that 
God  should  be  pleased  not  by  self-denial  and  austerities, 
but  by  sanctifying  all  human  pleasures  in  his  service* 
This  interpretation  appealed  to  their  rich  followers  mostly 
of  the  commercial  classes  who  lacked  the  necessary 
intellectual  equipment  to  ascertain  the  true  doctrines  of 
the  founder  of  the  sect.  A  movement  has  recently  been 
set  on  foot  to  reform  the  evil  practices  which  have  crept 
into  the  system,  and  a  number  of  devoted  workers  have 
made  efforts  to  restore  it  to  its  original  purity  and 

The  great  Vaisnavite  teacher  Lord  Chaitanya  of  Nawa- 
dwipa  was  a  contemporary  of  Vallabha  Swami.  Born  in  1485, 
he  renounced  the  world  at  the  early  age  of  25,  and  became  a 
Sanyasi.  He  wandered  about  the  country,  preaching  the 


doctrine  of  love  and  the  worship  of  Krisna.  The  mesmeric 
influence  of  his  presence  was  felt  wherever  he  went,  and 
thousands  of  men  fell  at  his  feet  in  reverential  devotion  as 
they  heard  from  his  lips  the  thrilling  message  of  love 
and  peace.  Love  was  so  great  a  passion  with  him  that  the 
thought  of  Krisna  playing  upon  his  flute  in  the  wild  woods 
of  Brindaban  threw  him  into  an  ecstasy.  He  laid  stress  on 
humility  and  said  that  a  Vai§nava  should  be  absolutely 
without  pride.  '  Krisna  dwells  in  every  soul  and  therefore 
gives  respect  to  others,  without  seeking  any  for  himself.' 
As  he  uttered  these  words  a  feeling  of  humility  over- 
powered his  soul,  and  he  broke  forth  : 

'  Neither  do  I  want  followers,  nor  wealth,  nor 
leartring,  nor  poetical  powers,  give  unto  my  soul  a  bit 
of  devotion  for  thee.  Great  pride  never  produces  any 
good.  How  will  He  who  is  called  the  vanquisher  of 
the  proud  bear  with  your  pride  ?  ' 

His  heart,  full  of  compassion  for  the  poor  and  the 
weak,  melted  with  pity  as  he  saw  the  sorrows  of 
mankind.  He  denounced  caste  and  proclaimed  the  universal 
brotherhood  of  man  and  the  worship  of  Hari  as  the  only 
means  of  attaining  the  highest  bliss.  Krisna's  name  knew 
not  the  barriers  of  caste  and  race.  He  asked  his  disciples  to 
teach  unto  all  men  down  to  the  lowest  Chandala  the  lesson 
of  devotion  and  love.  He  freely  touched  Haridas,  one  of 
his  disciples,  who  was  outcasted  by  his  fellows.  He 
begged  the  master  not  to  touch  him  for  he  was  unclean 
and  outcasted.  There  was  fire  in  the  master's  eye;  his 
heart  welled  up  with  emotion  ;  and  he  rushed  forward  in 
wild  joy  to  embrace  the  outcast  and  said  :  '  you  have  dedi- 
cated yourself  to  me ;  that  body  of  yours  is  mine  in  every 
respect ;  an  all-sacrificing  and  all-loving  spirit  dwells  in  it ; 

F.     18 


it  is  holy  as  a  temple.  Why  should  you  consider  yourself  un- 
clean ?  '  That  is  why  the  high  and  the  low,  the  Brahman 
and  the  Sudra  listened  to  his  message  and  followed  him. 
He  was  the  very  image  of  love  and  often  exhorted  his 
followers  to  sacrifice  everything  on  the  altar  of  love.  A 
true  devotee  must  show  his  love  for  Krisna  by  offering  his 
services  day  and  night  to  him  as  well  as  to  the  world. 
Vaisnavism  was  to  be  a  living  force,  a  rule  of  life  and  not 
merely  a  religion  to  be  practised  by  ascetics  and  recluses. 
To  religious  teachers  his  advice  was  : — 

11  Do  not  take  too  many  disciples,  do  not  abuse  gods 
worshipped  by  other  peoples  and  their  scriptures,  do 
not  read  too  many  books  and  do   not  pose  as  a  teacher 
continually  criticising  and  elucidating  religious    views. 
Take  profit  and  loss  in  the  same  light.   Do  not  stay  there 
where  a  Vaisnava  is  abused.    Do  not  listen  to  village 
tales.    Do  not  by  your  speech  or  thought  cause  pain  to 
a  living  thing.    Listen  to  the  recitation  of  God's  name. 
Recollect  his  kindness,  bow   to  him  and  worship  him. 
Do  what  He  wills  as  a  servant,   believe  Him  to  be  a 
friend  and  then  dedicate  yourself  to  Him." 
Chaitanya's  name  is  a  household  word  in  Bengal,    and 
there  are  millions  of  men  who  still  worship  him   as  an  in- 
carnation of  Sri  Kri§na  and  utter  his  name  with  a  feeling 
of  devotion  and  love. 

The  influence  of  Islam  is  clearly  manifest  in  the  teachings 
of  Naraadeva,  Kabir  and  Nanak,  who  all  condemned  caste, 
polytheism  and  idolatry  and  pleaded  for  true  faith,  sincerity 
and  purity  of  life.  The  cardinal  doctrine  on  which  they  laid 
stress  was  that  God  is  the  God  of  Hindus  as  well  as  Muslims, 
of  Brahmans  as  well  as  of  Chandalas  and  that  before  Him 
.all  are  equal.  The  trammels  of  caste  and  superstition  must 


foe  discarded,  if  the  worshipper  wants  to  know  the  true 
path.  The  first  in  point  of  time  was  Namadeva,  the  Maratha 
saint,  a  man  of  low  origin,  whose  probable  date  of  birth 
must  be  fixed  sometime  early  in  the  15th  century.  Nama- 
deva preached  the  unity  of  God,  deprecated  idol-worship 
and  all  outward  observances.  He  feels  his  dependence  on 
God  and  thus  gives  expression  to  it : 

"  Of  me  who  am  blind  thy  name,   O  King,   is  the  prop 

I  am  poor,  I  am  miserable,  thy  name  is  my  support. 

Bountiful  and  merciful  Allah,  thou  art  onerous  ; 

Thou  art  a  river  of  bounty,  thou  art  the  Giver,   thou  art 
exceeding  wealthy  ; 

Thou  alone  givest  and  takest,  there  is  none  other ; 

Thou  art  wise,  Thou  art  far-sighted,  what  conception 
can  I  form  of  thee. 

0  Nama's  lord,  Thou  art  the  Pardoner,  0  God." 

Kabir  was  the  greatest  disciple  of  Ramanand.  He  was 
>born  about  1398.  His  origin  is  shrouded  in  mystery.  Tradi- 
tion says,  he  was  born  of  a  Brahman  widow  who  cast  him 
off  near  a  tank  in  order  to  escape  social  odium.  The  child 
was  picked  up  by  a  weaver,  Niru,  and  was  brought  up  by 
his  wife  with  great  affection  and  care.  When  he  grew  up, 
he  took  up  his  father's  trade,  but  found  time  to  moralise 
and  philosophise. 

The  whole  back-ground  of  Kabir's  thought  is  Hindu. 
He  speaks  of  Rama.  He  seeks  freedom  from  transmigration, 
and  hopes  to  attain  the  true  path  by  means  of  Bhakti. 
He  has  an  aversion  for  theological  controversy  and  con- 
demns all  insincerity  and  hypocrisy,  which  are  mis- 
taken for  true  piety.  He  makes  no  distinction  between 
the  Hindu  and  the  Turk,  who,  he  says,  are  pots  of  the 
/same  clay,  and  who  are  striving  by  different  routes  to 


reach  the  same  goal.  He  pointed  out  the  futility  of 
mere  lip-homage  to  the  great  ideals  of  truth  and  religion. 
Of  what  avail  is  the  worship  of  stone  and  bathing  in, 
the  Ganges,  if  the  heart  is  not  pure?  Of  what  avail 
is  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  if  the  pilgrim  marches  towards, 
the  Kaaba  with  a  deceitful  and  impure  heart?  Men 
are  saved  by  faith  and  not  by  works.  None  can  under- 
stand the  mind  of  God ;  put  your  trust  in  Him  and  let 
Him  do  what  seemeth  Him  good.  He  condemns  idolatry 
and  says :  '  If  by  worshipping  stones  one  can  find  God, 
I  shall  worship  a  mountain;  better  than  these  stones- 
(idols)  are  the  stones  of  the  flour  mill  with  which  men  grind 
their  corn/  He  reproached  Brahmans  and  Maul  vis  alike  for 
their  theological  controversies  and  asked  them  to  give  up- 
their  petty  pride.  He  denounced  caste  and  emphatically 
declared : 

"Vain    too    are    the    distinctions    of    caste.    All 

shades    of    colour    are  but  broken  arcs  of  light ;    all 

varieties    in    human    nature    are    but    fragments   of 

humanity.    The    right    to    approach    God    is   not  the 

monopoly    of   Brahmans   but  is  freely  granted  to  all 

who  are  characterised  by  sincerity  of  heart/' 

No  modern  crusader  against  caste  can  equal  the  fervour 

of    these    inspiring    utterances    which    came    from    the 

deepest  depths   of  the  master's  soul.    Caste  could  be  no 

obstacle   in    the    way    of  God.    Forms  of  worship  were 

immaterial  to  him  for  he  says : 

"Suffer  all  men  to  worship  God  according  to  their 
convictions.  Be  not  the  slaves  of  tradition  and  love- 
not  controversy  for  its  own  sake.  Fear  not  to  walk 
upon  unbeaten  tracks,  if  such  tracks  bring  you  near  to 
Him  who  is  the  truth." 


Kabir's  great  disciple  was  Nanak,  the  founder  of  the 
Sikh  religion,  who  was  born  in  1469  A.D.  at  Talwandi,  a 
village  in  the  Lahore  district.  From  his  boyhood  Nanak 
showed  a  religious  bent  of  mind  and  paid  no  attention  to  his 
studies.  Like  Kabir,  he  also  preached  the  unity  of  God, 
condemned  idolatry,  and  urged  that  the  barriers  of  caste  and 
race  must  give  way  before  the  name  of  God  who  transcends 
them  all.  He  exhorted  men  to  give  up  hypocrisy,  selfish- 
ness, worldliness,  and  falsehood  for  "all  men's  accounts 
shall  be  taken  in  God's  court  and  no  one  shall  be  saved 
without  good  works."  He  laid  stress  on  love  and  purity  of 
life  and  preached  that  good  deeds  were  more  efficacious 
in  securing  salvation  than  metaphysical  discussions.  His 
<crp*/1  is  summed  up  in  these  words  : 

"  Religion  consisteth  not  in  mere  words  ; 
He  who  looketh  on  all  men  as  equal  is  religious. 
Religion  consisteth  not  in  wandering  to  tombs  or 
places  of  cremation,  or  sitting  in  attitudes  of 

Religion    consisteth   not  in  wandering    in  foreign 
countries,  or  in  bathing  at  places  of  pilgrimage. 
Abide  pure    amidst  the  impurities  of  the   world; 
^  Thus  shalt  thou  find  the  way  to  religion." 
The  movement  of  reform  did  not  end  with  Nanak.    The 
stream  of  thought  continued  to  flow  on  ;  a  number  of  saints 
and  reformers  arose  whose  achievements  will  be  discussed 
later.    We  may  again  emphasise  the  harmonising  tendency 
of  the  social  and  religious  movements  in  mediaeval  India.  At- 
tempts were  made  to  bridge  the  gulf  between  the  Hindus 
and  Muslims,  and  although  the  Sultans  of  Delhi  were  mostly 
-cruel  and  bigoted  tyrants,  there  were  a  few  who  listened 
to  the  voice  of  reason  and  tried  to  promote  concord  and 


co-operation  between  the  two  races.  Religious  teachers  ren- 
dered a  great  service  to  the  cause  of  unity.  The  Hindus 
began  to  worship  Muslim  saints,  and  the  Muslims  began  to 
show  respect  for  Hindu  gods.  And  this  mutual  goodwill  is 
typified  in  the  cult  of  Satyapir,  founded  by  Husain  Shah  of 
Jaunpur,  which  represents  a  synthesis  of  the  two  religions. 
But  the  age  was  not  yet  ripe  for  introducing  political  re- 
forms along  these  lines.  For  this  a  mighty  man  of  genius 
was  needed,  and  India  had  to  wait  till  the  advent  of  Akbar 
for  the  realisation  of  the  dreams  of  her  great  teachers.  It 
was  only  then  that  the  Hindus  and  Muslims  stood  shoulder 
to  shoulder  in  the  service  of  a  common  empire,  and  shed  their 
religious  prejudices  to  an  extent  never  reached  before  since 
the  Islamic  conquest  of  our  country.  It  was  the  voice  of 
Kabir  and  Nanak  which  spoke  through  the  imperial  lips 
and  created  a  storm  in  orthodox  circles. 



At  the  opening  of  the  sixteenth  century  the  kingdom 
of  Delhi  was  considerably  reduced  in  extent.  Ibrahim's 
sway  did  not  extend  beyond  Delhi,  Agra,  the 
India'* hern  Doab>  Biyana  and  Chanderi.  The  Punjab 
was  held  by  Daulat  Khan  and  his  son  Ghazi 
Khan  and  Dilawar  Khan  who  were  alarmed  at  the  un- 
bridled tyranny  of  Ibrahim,  and  who  eagerly  waited  for 
an  opportunity  to  deliver  themselves  from  his  yoke.  Like 
other  Afghan  nobles  they  thought  rebellion  safer  than 
subordination  to  a  prince,  whose  capricious  temper  put 
their  lives  and  property  in  peril.  Sindh  and  Multan  to- 
wards the  west  and  Jaunpur,  Bengal  and  Orissa  towards 
the  east  had  formed  themselves  into  independent  princi- 
palities. In  the  central  region  lay  the  kingdoms  of  Malwa 
and  Khandesh,  which  were  ruled  by  Muhammadan  princes. 
Between  the  kingdoms  of  the  north  and  the  central  region 
lay  the  Rajput  states,  whose  strength  had  silently  increas- 
ed owing  to  the  decline  of  the  power  at  Delhi  and  the 
unending  quarrels  of  the  Muslim  states  of  the  north. 

To  the  south-east  lay  the  kingdom  of  Jaunpur,  which 
corresponded  roughly  to  the  districts  now  included  in  the 
eastern  portions  of  the  province  of  Agra  and  Oudh.  The 
resources  of  its  kings  were  by  no  means  inconsiderable. 
They  possessed  large  armies  and  fought  against  the 
Afghan  power  at  Delhi  with  great  tenacity  and  vigour.  In 
1491  Sikandar  Lodi  extended  his  conquests  over  the  whole 
of  Bihar  and  drove  away  Husain  Shah,  the  last  ruler  of 
Jaunpur,  to  seek  refuge  with  the  ruler  of  Bengal. 



Ibrahim  Lodi  bungled  as  was  his  wont  in  the  affairs  of 
Jaunpur,  where  the  Afghan  vassals  had  always  been  very 
powerful.  At  the  earliest  exhibition  of  Ibrahim's  haughty 
meddlesomeness  in  their  affairs,  the  Afghan  barons  re- 
belled under  the  leadership  of  Nasir  Khan  Lohani  of 
Ghazipur,  Maruf  Farmuli,  and  others. 

Darya  Khan  Lohani  of  Bihar  became  the  leader  of  the 
confederacy  of  rebels,  and  inflicted  several  defeats  upon 
the  forces  sent  by  Ibrahim  to  quell  the  rebellion.  After 
his  death  his  son  was  acclaimed  as  their  leader  by  the 
rebels,  who  continued  to  fight  as  before  against  the  ruler 
of  Delhi.  Bengal  had  separated  from  the  empire  of  Delhi 
during  the  reign  of  Firuz  Tughluq  who  had  recognised 
its  independence.  Sikandar,  son  of  Ilyas  Shah,  had 
brought  nearly  the  whole  of  Bengal  under  his  sway  as  is 
testified  by  hia  coins.  At  the  opening  of  the  sixteenth 
century,  the  Husaini  dynasty  had  well  established  its 
power,  and  its  first  ruler  Alauddin  Husain  Shah  (1493—1519 
A.D.)  was  a  remarkable  man  who  greatly  enlarged  his 
kingdom  by  conquest.  His  son  Nusrat  Shah  maintained 
a  splendid  court  and  commemorated  his  regime  by  raising 
noble  works  of  art.  He  is  mentioned  by  Babar  in  his 
Memoirs  as  a  prince  of  considerable  substance  in  Hindus- 
tan. In  the  central  region  there  were  three  important 
Muslim  states  which  will  be  described  below. 

The  dynasty  of  the  independent  kings  of  Gujarat  was 
founded  by  Zaf ar  Khan  who  was  appointed  to  the  charge 
in  1391  A.D.  The  dynasty  produced  a  num- 
ber  of  able  and  ambitious  rulers  like  Mah- 
mud' Ahmad  Shah  and  Mahmud  Blgafla,  who 
Khan-  greatly  increased  its  power  and  influence. 
desh-  After  the  death  of  Sultan  Mahmud  Blgafla, 


Muzaffar  Shah  II  succeeded  to  the  throne  in  1511  A.D. 
He  had  to  contend  against  formidable  rivals,  the  prince 
of  Malwa,   Sultan  Mahmud  Khilji  II  (1510-31  A.D.),  the 
last   ruler  of  the  independent  Malwa  dynasty,   and  the 
Rajput  ruler  of  Mewar.    In  1518  the  ruler  of  Gujarat  in 
response  to  the  request  of  Mahmud,  the  legitimate  ruler, 
who  was  thrown  into  the  shade  by  his  powerful  minister 
Medini  Rao,  a  Rajput  chief,  who  had  usurped  all  authority 
in  the  state  marched  into  Malwa  at  the  head  of  a  large 
army  and  captured  the  fort  of  Mandu.  The  Rajputs  offered 
a  gallant  resistance,  and  it  is  said  that  nearly  19  thou- 
sand perished  in  the  final  encounter  with  the  Gujarat 
forces,  and  Medini  Rao's  son  was  among  the  slain.   Medini 
'Rao  lost  his  hard-won  influence,  but  he  was  reinstated 
in  Chanderi  by  Rana  Sanga,   the  redoubtable    chief    of 
Mewar.    His  gratitude  found  expression  in  his  adhesion 
to  the  Rana's  cause,   when   the  latter  marched  against 
Babar  to  fight  the  historic  battle   at  Kanwah  in  1527. 
Feelings   of   jealousy  had  existed  between  Gujarat  and 
Mewar  for  a  long  time,  and   Rana  Sanga  got  his  long- 
'  desired  opportunity  through  the  indiscretion  of  the  Muslim 
governor  of  Idar.    The  latter  used  abusive  language  to- 
wards the  Rana  which  was  communicated  to  him.    The 
Hana  marched  against  Idar  at  the  head  of  40,000  brave 
Rajputs,  and  obtained  a  victory  over  the  Gujarat  forces. 
:Sanga's  generals  urged  him  to  advance  upon  Ahmadabad, 
the  capital  of  the  Gujarat  kings,  but  he  felt  reluctant  to 
-do  so  and  returned.    We  do  not  know   what  relations 
-existed  at  this  time  between  the  kingdoms  of  Delhi  and 
-Gujarat.    The  author  of  Mirat-i-Sikandari  writes  (Bay ley , 
B>p.  276-77)  in  recording  the  events  of  the  year  1525  that 
Alam  Khan,  uncle  of  Sultan  Ibrahim  of  Delhi,  paid  a 


visit  to  Muzaffar  and  sought  his  help  against  his  over- 
weening nephew.  Apparently  no  help  seems  to  have 
been  given,  and  Alam  Khan  was  dismissed  with  an  escort 
courteously  provided  by  his  host.  About  the  same  time 
Prince  Bahadur,  the  second  son  of  Muzaffar,  reached 
Delhi  to  seek  protection  against  the  hostile  designs  of  his 
elder  brother  Sikandar.  He  was  well  received  at  the 
court,  but  when  Ibrahim  suspected  him  of  siding  with  dis- 
affected persons  he  left  for  Jaunpur.  Soon  after  came 
the  news  of  his  father's  death,  and  the  ambitious 
Bahadur  hastened  back  to  Gujarat. 

To  the  north  of  Khandesh  lay  the  important  kingdom 
of  Malwa.  The  origin  of  the  kingdom  has  been  described 
before.  The  founder  of  the  independent  line  of  kings  was 
Dilawar  Khan  Ghori  who  was  a  feoffee  of  Sultan  Firuz 
Tughluq  of  Delhi.  Dilawar  Khan  threw  off  the  imperial 
yoke  in  1398  during  the  anarchy  which  followed  the  in- 
vasion of  Timur.  The  Ghori  dynasty  ended  in  1435  A.D. 
when  power  was  usurped  by  Mahmud  Khan,  the  minister 
of  the  Ghori  chieftain,  who  ascended  the  throne  under 
the  title  of  Mahmud  Khilji.  Mahmud  was  a  remarkable 
ruler  who  ceaselessly  fought  against  Gujarat  and  Me  war, 
and  passed  during  his  life  through  vicissitudes  of  no  mean 
order.  Firishta  rightly  says  that  his  tent  was  his  home 
and  the  field  of  battle  his  resting  place.  During  the  reign 
of  Mahmud  II  (1512-30),  the  fourth  ruler  of  the  Khilji 
dynasty,  the  Rajputs  dominated  the  affairs  of  Malwa,  and 
the  gallant  chief  Medini  Rao,  who  had  helped  him  in 
securing  the  throne,  had  fully  established  his  as- 
cendancy. But  the  Rajput  influence  was  an  eyesore 
to  the  Muslims,  and  they  conspired  to  drive  Medini  Rao* 
from  the  position  he  occupied  in  the  state.  The  Sultan. 


secretly    escaped   to   Gujarat   to    seek   help  from  the 
ruler  of  that  country.     Muzaffar   received   him  well  and 
promised  assistance  against  the  '  infidels/     He  marched 
upon  Gujarat  at  the  head  of  a  large  army  and  reinstated 
Mahmud  at  Mandu.    Soon  afterwards  Mahmud  marched 
against  Medini  Rao  who  received  assistance  from  Rana. 
Sanga  of  Chittor.      A  fierce  battle  raged  between  the 
Rajputs  and  the  Malwa  forces  which  suffered  a  total  defeat, 
and  the  Sultan  was  himself  wounded.    The  magnanimous 
Rana  treated  him  with  great  kindness,  took  him  to  his  tent 
where  he  ordered  his  wounds  to  be  dressed,  and  released 
him  from  captivity,  when  he  became  convalescent.    Such 
was  the  state  of  Malwa  in  the  year  1525.  Mahmud  was  dis- 
tracted by  internal  dissensions,  and  the  country  was  torn 
by  civil  war.     Meanwhile  a  fresh  calamity  came  from  an- 
other quarter.  In  1526  Mahmud  offered  shelter  to  Bahadur's 
brother,  Chand  Khan,  who  had  succeeded  Muzaffar  in  the 
gaddi  of  Gujarat.  He  had  listened  also  to  the  overtures  of  one 
Razi-ul-Mulk,  a  nobleman  from  Gujarat,  who  had  espoused 
the  cause  of  Chand  Khan  and  had  applied  to  Babar  for  aid. 
Bahadur  advanced  upon  Mandu  and  inflicted  a  sharp  defeat 
upon  Mahmud  and  his  forces.  Mahmud  was  put  in  chains, 
and  sent  as  a  prisoner  along  with  his  sons  to  Champanir  in 
the  custody  of  Asaf  Khan.    Five  days  later  the  escort  led 
by  Asaf  Khan  was  attacked  by  2,000  Bhils  and  Kols  in  camp 
at  Dohud.     Asaf  considered  it  an  attempt  to  deliver  the 
royal  family  from  his  custody,  and  ordered  the  king  and 
his  sons  to  be  put  to  death.    Thus  ended  the  Khilji  dynasty 
of  Malwa,   and  the  territories  over  which  it  held  swajr 
became  subject  to  the  ruler  of  Gujarat. 

The  other  state  lying  in  the  central  region  was  Khan- 
desh.    Khandesh  was  formerly  a  province  of  the  Delhi 


-empire,  but  it  became  an  independent  principality  under 
Malik  Raja  FarQqi  who  was  appointed  governor  of  the  place 
by  Firuz  Tughluq  in  1370.  After  Malik  Raja's  death  in  1399 
his  more  able  and  ambitious  son  Malik  Nasir  Khan  suc- 
ceeded to  the  throne.  The  treacherous  manner  in  which  he 
overpowered  Ssa  Ahlr  and  his  men  has  been  described  in 
a  previous  chapter.  Asirgarh  fell  into  the  hands  of  Nasir, 
but  he  shrank  from  using  the  treasures  found  in  the  fortress. 
The  last  notable  ruler  of  Khandesh  was  Adil  Khan  Faruqi 
(1457—1503  A.D.)  who  did  much  to  increase  the  material 
prosperity  of  his  kingdom.  Under  Adil  Burhanpur  grew  to 
be  one  of  the  most  beautiful  cities  in  India.  It  was  he  who 
completed  the  fortifications  of  Asirgarh.  The  manufactures 
of  gold  and  silver  thread  and  brocaded  silks  and  muslins 
reached  a  high  degree  of  development  under  the  Faruqi 
kings,  and  are  still  in  a  flourishing  condition.  The  annals 
of  the  dynasty  have  no  special  importance.  The  Faruqi 
Kings  allied  themselves  with  the  rulers  of  Gujarat  by 
means  of  matrimonial  connections,  and  often  received 
support  from  them  in  their  wars  against  the  Muslim  states 
of  the  south.  At  the  time  of  Babar's  invasion  of  Hindustan 
Khandesh  was  ruled  by  Miran  Muhammad  who  had 
succeeded  to  the  throne  in  1520  A.D.  The  commonplace 
character  of  the  history  of  this  dynasty  obtrudes  itself 
upon  our  notice  as  we  read  through  the  pages  of  Firishta, 
and  we  feel  relieved  to  see,  in  the  words  of  a  modern 
writer,  Khandesh  affording  a  good  example  of  the  manner 
in  which  the  amenities  of  life  may  flourish  under 
conditions  which  prohibit  the  exercise  of  the  arts  of 

Ever  since  the  death  of  Alauddin  Khilji  the  states  of 
.Rajputana  bad  played  no  part  in  the  affairs  of  the  Delhi 


Empire.    Alauddin  had  entrusted  the  fort  of  Chittor  to, 
Rajputana.        the  Soni*ra  <*feftain  Maldeva  of  Jalor,  but 
the  latter  seems  to  have  lost  all  influence- 
after  the  death  of  the  war-lord  of  Delhi.    TheSisodia. 
Prince  Hamir  who  had  remained    in  a  state  of  sulleiL 
hostility  all  this  time  increased  his  resources  and  began  to 
seize  portions  of  the  Mewar  territory  during  the  lifetime 
of  Maldeva.     Gradually    after  the  death  of  the  latter 
Hamir  defeated  Maldeva's  son,  Jaisa,  and  acquired  pos- 
session of  the  entire  principality  of  Mewar.    Hamir  was  a 
powerful  prince,  who,  according  to  the  Rajput  chronicles 
seems  to  have  encountered  with  success  the  forces  of  the 
Delhi  Sultan.  That  may  or  may  not  be  correct,  but  in  an  in- 
scription of  Maharana  Kumbha's  time  dated  1438  A.D. 
Hamir  is  described  as  the  achiever  of  renown  by  slaying 
countless  Muslims  in  the  field  of  battle. '     There  is  other 
evidence  to  prove  that  Hamir  conquered  Jilwara  from  the 
mountaineers  (Bhils)  on  whom  he  inflicted  a  crushing 
defeat,   and  similar  success  attended  his  arms  when  he 
marched  against  Jitkarna,  the  prince  of  Idar.    Tod's  state- 
ment that  the  ancestors  of  the  present  princes  of  Marwar 
and  Jaipur  brought  their  levies,  paid  homage,  and  obeyed 
the  summons  of  the  prince  of  Chittor  as  did  the  chiefs  of 
Bundi,  Gwalior,  Chanderi,  Raisin,  Sikri,  Kalpi,  Abu,  etc., 
is  doubtless  an  exaggeration.    Hamir  died  about  the  year 
1364  A.D.  leaving  Mewar  a  fairly  large  and  prosperous 
kingdom.  His  son  K?etra  Singh  worthily  upheld  the  tradi- 
tions of  his  father  and  made  his  power  felt  by  the  neigh- 
bouring chieftains.   His  son  Lskha  who  ascended  the  gaddi 
in  1382  A.D.  distinguished  himself  by  winning  victories 

1  Bombay  Branch  A.  8.  J.,  XXXIII,  p.  50. 


-over  his  foes  and  by   raising  works    of  public  utility. 

But  when  LakhS's  grandson,  Rana  Kumbha,  who  is  so 

famous   in  the    annals    of    Mewar,    succeeded    to  the 

throne  in  1433  A.D.  the  position  of  Mewar  was  seriously 

affected  by  the  rise  of  the  Muslim  states  of  Malwa  and 

Gujarat.    The  Muslim  rulers  were  eager  to  extinguish  the 

independence  of  Mewar  and  left  no  stone  unturned  to  reduce 

her  power.    It  is  needless  to  enter  into  a  detailed  account 

of  the  struggle  between  these  rival  powers  in  which  victory 

rested  sometimes  with  the  Muslims  and  sometimes  with  the 

Rajput  chieftain.  The  Rana  was  assassinated  in  1468  A.D. 

by  his  son  Uda  who  was  probably   impatient   to  obtain 

possession  of  the  gaddi  of  Mewar.    The  people  of  Mewar 

rightly    refused  to    see  the  face  of  the   parricide  and 

denounced  his  unfilial  and  inhuman   conduct.     Want  of 

confidence  made  his  task  difficult,   and  the  throne  was 

seized  by  his  brother  Raimal  after  a  period  of  five  years 

in  1473.    After  his  death  in  May  1509,  Sangram  Singh,  his 

youngest  son,  succeeded  to  the  gaddi  of  Mewar.     His 

accession  marked  the  dawn  of  a  new  era  in  the  history  of 

that  country. 

The  empire  of  Delhi  had  lost  much  of  its  former  great- 
ness, and  Sangram  Singh  had  little  to  fear  from  Sikandar 
Lodi  who  had  his  own  difficulties  to  overcome,  but  Malwa 
and  Gujarat  were  ruled  at  this  time  by  Nasir  Shah  and 
Muhammad  Blga^a  who  were  bound  to  come  in  conflict 
with  him.  During  the  early  years  of  his  reign,  Sangram 
Singh  established  his  prestige  by  defeating  the  forces  of 
Gujarat,  and  by  effective  interference  in  the  affairs  of  Idar. 
The  Rana  had  been  grabbing  for  several  years  small  por- 
tions of  the  Delhi  territory,  but  when  Ibrahim  Lodi  came 
to  the  throne,  he  led  an  attack  against  Mewar  at  the  head 


•of  a  considerable  force.  Victory  rested  with  the  Rajputs, 
•and  the  Rana  ended  the  conflict  with  the  seizure  of  certain 
•districts  of  Malwa,  which  had  been  annexed  to  Delhi  by 
Sikandar  Lodi. 

Next  came  the  turn  of  Malwa.  The  Sultan  of  Malwa 
Mahmud  II  had  admitted  the  Rajput  chief  Medini  Rao  of 
Chanderi  to  his  councils  to  act  as  a  counterpoise  to  the 
influence  of  his  turbulent  amirs.  The  amirs  appealed  to 
the  rulers  of  Delhi  and  Gujarat  for  help  against  the 
'  infidels. '  But  Medini  Rao  proved  equal  to  the  occasion. 
He  defeated  the  allied  forces  of  Delhi  and  Gujarat  and 
re-established  the  authority  of  Mahmud.  Thus  foiled  in 
their  designs,  the  hostile  amirs  intrigued  with  success 
to  poison  the  ears  of  Sultan  Mahmud  against  Medini  Rao. 
The  Sultan  appealed  to  Muzaff ar  Shah  of  Gujarat  for 
aid,  and  the  latter  escorted  him  back  in  triumph  to 
Mandu  and  reinstated  him  in  his  throne.  Medini  Rao 
sought  the  help  of  Sanga  who  marched  against  Mahmud 
at  the  head  of  50,000  men,  and  in  the  encounter  that 
followed  the  Sultan  of  Mandu  was  badly  wounded.  The 
Rana  conveyed  the  royal  captive  to  his  camp,  and  finally 
took  him  to  Chittor  where  he  was  kept  as  a  prisoner  for 
three  months.  He  was  afterwards  liberated  on  the 
payment  of  an  indemnity  (the  expenses  of  war)  and  the 
surrender  of  a  prince  as  a  guarantee  for  his  good  behaviour 
in  the  future.  This  misplaced  generosity  aggravated  the 
Rana's  difficulties  and  afforded  encouragement  to  his 
avowed  enemies. 

Sultan  Muzaffar  of  Gujarat  combined  with  the  Sultan 
of  Malwa  against  the  Rana  to  wipe  out  the  disgrace  of  his 
former  defeat.  Malik  Ayaz,  the  governor  of  Sorath,  who 
had  joined  with  20,000  horse  and  some  field  pieces  was 


placed  in  command.  The  Rana  was  put  on  his  mettle  byr 
the  preparations  of  his  allies,  and  marched  against  them 
at  the  head  of  a  large  army.  Ayaz  retreated  to  his  charge- 
without  risking  an  engagement  with  the  Rana,  and  the 
Sultan  of  Mandu  did  likewise.  What  the  Muslim  historians- 
have  described  as  a  retreat  compelled  by  the  dissensions  of 
the  military  officers  was  in  all  probability  a  defeat  at  the 
hands  of  the  Mewar  forces. 

These  campaigns  spread  Rana  Sanga's  fame  far  andi 
wide.  Foreign  princes  feared  him,  and  Mewar  became  the 
refuge  of  dispossessed  or  disinherited  heirs  By  the  year 
1525  it  had  developed  into  a  first  class  military  state.  Her 
resources  were  thoroughly  organised,  and  it  was  clear  that 
any  foreigner  who  attempted  the  conquest  of  Hindustan 
will  have  to  grapple  with  the  warlike  ruler  of  Mewar. 

The  Haras  of  Bundi  had  begun  to  assert  themselves 
against  the  dominant  influence  of  Mewar,  but  they  had  no> 
connection  with  the  Muslim  government  at  Delhi.  The 
Rathor  monarchy  at  Jodhpur  under  Rao  Ganga  (1516—32) 
was  weakened  by  internecine  civil  strife  towards  the  begin- 
ning of  the  sixteenth  century,  but  the  sons  of  Jodha  united 
their  forces  against  the  Chaghtai  invader  and  joined  the- 
confederacy  of  Rana  Sanga. 

The  province  of  Sindh  was  too  far  away  from  Delhi  to 

exercise  any  influence  on  the  politics  of  Hindustan.  Early 

in  the  14th  century   it  formed  a  part  of 

8indh<  the  empire  of  Alauddin  Khilji,  and  Alaud- 

din's  brother  Ulugh  Khan  held  the  governorship  of  Multan. 

Later  it  was  included  in  Muhammad  Tughluq's  empire, 

but  towards  the  close  of  his  life  the  Sumras  had  given 

shelter  to  Taghi  who  had  rebelled  against  the  Sultan.   The 

latter  pursued  the  rebel  and  died  in  Thatta.    The  Jama 


got  their  long-desired  opportunity,  and  it  is  said    that 
after  the  death  of  Muhammad  Jam  Khairuddin  adopted  a 
sulky  attitude  and  refused  to  pay  homage  to  Firuz.    Piruz 
marched  against  his  son   Jam  Babiniya  and  conquered 
Sindh,  though  he  afterwards  restored  him  to  office.    The 
Sumras  soon  lost  their  ascendancy,   and  their  place  was 
taken    by  the  Samtna   dynasty  towards    the  middle  of 
the   fourteenth  century.     The   fortunes  of  the  Sammas 
were   seriously  affected    by  the   turn  affairs  were  tak- 
ing in  the  Afghan    regions.     In    1516  Babar    marched 
against    Shah  Beg    Arghun,   the    governor  of  Qandhar 
and  laid  siege  to  the  fort.      Unable   to  withstand  the 
rising  power   of  Babar,     Shah    Beg    Arghun     made  a 
treaty    with    him     by    which    he     was     compelled    to 
surrender  Qandhar  to  Babar's  officers.    The  Shah  ratified 
the  cession  by  sending  to  the  conqueror  the  keys  of  the 
fortress.    The"  loss  of  Qandhar  obliged  the  Shah  to  seek 
another  field  of  activity,  and  he  turned  towards  Sindh. 
Thatta  was  occupied  and  given  up  to  plunder  in  1520. 
The  Jam  made  his  submission,  and   with  every  mark  of 
abject  humility    implored    the    forgiveness  of  the  con- 
queror.   The  Arghun  dynasty    was  thus  established  in 
Sindh,  and  its  power  was  considerably  increased  by  Shah 
Beg's  son  Shah  Husain,  who  annexed  Multan  and  ex- 
tinguished the  Langah  dynasty.    At  the  time  Babar  was 
planning  his  invasion  of  Hindustan,  these  two  dynasties 
were  grappling  with  each  other  in  order  to  establish  their 
ascendancy   in  Sindh.    There    seems    to  have  been  no 
connection  between  the  decrepit   empire  of    Delhi  and 
the  desert  province. 

The  history  of  the  southern  plateau  is  interesting  only 
in  ao  far  as  it  shows  the  growth  of  the  imperialistic  idea  in 

F.    19 


the  Deccan,  while  it  was  steadily  declining  in  the  north. 
m.     _  The    Afghan  empire    in   Hindustan     had 

The    Deccan.       ,     .    ,.    ,   ...../.  ,       T.       ,  . 

dwindled  into  insignificance  under  Ibrahim, 
but  below  the  Vindhyas  two  formidable  empires  had  risen 
into  prominence,  the  empire  of  the  Bahmanids  and  the 
Hindu  empire  of  Vijayanagar.  Their  political  designs 
brought  them  inevitably  into  conflict,  and  backed  by  their 
unlimited  zeal  they  engaged  in  wars  which  caused  much 
suffering  and  loss  to  the  combatants  on  either  side.  They 
fought  long  and  hard  for  supremacy  but  exercised  little 
or  no  influence  on  the  political  affairs  of  northern  India. 
The  kingdom  of  Vijayanagar  was  founded  as  has  been 
said  before  by  two  brothers  Harihar  and  Bukka,  who 
were  in  the  service  of  the  Raja  of  Telingana  in  1336, 
and  since  then  it  had  developed  its  territory  and  its 
prestige  owing  to  the  efforts  of  a  series  of  remarkable 
rulers.  {The  reign  of  Krigna  Deva  Raya  which  lasted 
from  1509  to  1580  A.D.  is  a  glorious  period  in  the  annals 
of  the  empire  of  Vijayanagar.  Krisna  De\/a  Raya  orga- 
nised a  large  army,  and  waged  several  wars  against  the 
Muslim  powers  of  the  south.  His  conquest  of  the  Raichur 
valley  greatly  increased  his  prestige!  and  so  weakened  the 
power  of  Adil  Shah  that  he  ceased  to  think  for  the  time 
being,  at  any  rate,  of  any  conquest  in  the  south.  It  seared 
upon  the  minds  of  the  Muslims  the  lesson  that  their 
separatist  tendencies  greatly  injured  their  interests  and 
that  unity  was  essential  for  effectively  curbing  the 
"  arrogance  and  insolence  "  of  the  Hindus.  When  Abdul 
RazzSq,  the  Persian  ambassador,  visited  the  Deccan  in 
1542—44  the  Hindu  empire  was  at  the  height  of  its  power. 
He  has  given  an  elaborate  description  of  the  glory  and 
grandeur  of  the  great  city,  which  has  been  reproduced  in 


a  previous  chapter  in  this  volume.    The    empire    was 
destroyed  by  the  Muslims  in  1565  at  the  battle  of  Talikota, 
but  at  the  opening  of  the  16th  century  it  was  in  the 
plenitude  of  power.    It  is  true,  it  had  no  connection  with 
the  Muslim  empire  of  the  north,  but  as  Professor  Rush- 
brook-Williams  suggests  with  great  force  it  effectively 
prevented  the  states  of  the  Deccan  from  acquiring  such 
ascendancy     as      would     have    jeopardised  the   inde- 
pendence  of  the  Rajput  states.    It  checked  the  north- 
ward expansion  of  the  Muslim  states  which  in  turn  pre- 
vented it  from  seeking  a  field  of  conquest  in  the  trans- 
Vindyan  region  like  Indra  and    Tailapa,   who    carried 
their  arms  triumphantly  into  the  territory  of  Malwa  and 
Dhar.    The  Bahmani  kingdom  which  was  founded  in  1347 
by  Hasan  Kangu,  an  Afghan    officer  in  the  service  of 
Sultan  Muhammad  Tughluq  of  Delhi,  broke  up  into  five 
[independent  principalities    after  the  execution    of    tfre 
[famous  minfofcr  Mahmnd  C5w5n  in  Uftl  fl,]).  The  resour- 
ces  of  the  Bahmanids  enabled  them  to  fight  on  equal  terms 
with  the  empire  of  Vijayanagar,  but    notwithstanding 
their  vast  territories,  riches,   and   power  they  failed  to 
attain  much  political  importance  in  the  south.    Surprising 
as  it  may  seem,  it  was  the  result  of  the  restraint  which  was 
imposed  upon  their  activities  by  the  rulers  of  Vijayanagar 
who  vigilantly    watched  their    movements  and  applied 
the  break  whenever  it  was  felt  necessary.    The  dismem- 
berment of  the  Bahmani  kingdom  reduced  Muslim  energy 
in  the  Deccan  to  fragments,  and  the  small  states  which 
took  its  place  could  never  acquire  that  eminence  which 
concentration  and  consolidation  alone  can  give  to  a  vast 
dominion,  acting  under  undivided  leadership  and  follow- 
ing a  common  principle. 


Babar  gives   an  account  of  Hindustan  on  the  eve  of 

his  invasion.    He  speaks  of  five  Muslim  and  two  Hindu 

kings  of  substance.     The  greater  part  of 

Babar's    ac-     Hindustan,  says  he,  was  in  the  possession 

count  01   rim- 

duetan.  of  the  empire  of  Delhi,  but  in  the  country 

there  were  many  independent  and  powerful 
kings.  The  leading  kingdoms  noted  by  him  are —the 
Afghan  kingdom  which  extended  from  Behreh  to  Bihar; 
of  Jaunpur  and  Bengal  in  the  east ;  of  Malwa  in  Central 
India ;  of  Gujarat  with  the  Muslim  kingdoms  of  the  Deccan 
which  arose  out  of  the  ruins  of  the  Bahmani  kingdom. 
The  two  pagan  princes  mentioned  by  him  are  the 
Raya  of  Vijayanagar  and  Rana  Sanga  of  Chittor.  Of 
these  princes  Babar  writes  :— 

"The   five  kings  who  have  been  mentioned  are 

great  princes,  and  are  all  Musalmans,  and  possessed 

of  formidable  armies  and  rulers  of  vast  territories. 

The  most  powerful  of  the  pagan  princes,   in  point  of 

territory  and  army,  is  the  Raja  of  Bijanagar.    Another 

is  the  Rana  Sanga,  who  has  attained  his  present  high 

eminence,  only  in  these  later  times,  by  his  own  valour 

and  his  sword.    His  original  principality  was  Chitur." 

India  was  thus  a  congeries  of  states  at  the  opening 

of  the  sixteenth  century  and  likely  to  be  the  easy  prey 

of  an  invader  who  had  the  strength  and  will  to  attempt 

her  conquest. 



Babar  was  born  on  Friday,  the  24th  of  February, 
1483  A.D.  He  was  descended  from  Timur,  the  Lame,  in 
the  fifth  degree  on  his  father's  side,  while 
through  his  mother  he  could  trace  descent 
from  the  great  Mongol  conqueror  Chingiz, 
Khan. '  His  father  Umar  Shaikh  Mirza  held  the  small 
kingdom  of  Farghana  which  is  now  a  small  province  of 
Russian  Turkistan  about  50,000  square  miles  in  extent. 
In  1494,  after  his  father's  death  which  was  caused 
by  an  accident,  Babar,  though  only  eleven  years 
of  age,  succeeded  to  the  throne  of  Farghana.  The  early 
training  of  the  young  prince  must  have  been  exceptionally 
well  managed,  for  in  later  years  he  had  little  time  to 
devote  himself  to  intellectual  pursuits,  During  these 
years  he  acquired  mastery  over  Turki  and  Persian,  the 
two  languages  which  he  wrote  and  spoke  with  great  ease 
and  facility.  His  maternal  grandmother,  a  lady  of  much 
sense  and  sagacity,  moulded  and  shaped  his  character  in 
early  boyhood  and  instilled  in  him  the  love  of  virtue, 
valour  and  devotion.  ' 

Though  master  of  FarghSna,  Babar  who  was  only 
a  tender  stripling,  was  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  formi- 
dable enemies.  These  were  his  own  kinsmen  and  the 

1  Babar  was  not  a  Mughal.  He  was  a  Ohaghtai  Turk  descended 
from  Ohingiz  Khan  on  his  father's  side.  His  mother  was  a  daughter  of 
YUnus  Khan,  a  Mongol  or  Mughal  chief  of  Central  Asia.  The  so-called 
Emperors  of  India  were  in  reality  Turks. 



Uzbeg  chief  Shaibani  Khan  with  whom  he  had  to  fight 

for  his  very  existence.   Though  young  in  years,  Babar 

formed  the  resolve  of  conquering  Samarkand  and  seating 

himself  in  the  throne  of  the  mighty  Timur.    He  advanced 

upon  Samarqand  and    was  unsuccessfully    opposed  by 

Shaibani  Khan,  the  Uzbeg  chief.    He  entered  the  city 

in  triumph  and  received  the  homage  of  'nobles  and  braves, 

one  after  the  other.'    But  these  triumphal  scenes  were 

soon  disturbed  by  the  news  that  a  conspiracy  was  formed 

in  Farghan§  to  deprive  him  of    his    patrimony.     Babar 

hurried  to  the  scene,  but  as  soon  as  he  turned  his  back 

Samarqand  was  lost.    He  again  attempted  an  invasion  of 

Samarqand  and  captured  the  city  with  a  small  force  of  240 

men.    Once  more  did  he  instal  himself  on  the  throne  of 

Timur  and  received  the  homage  of  the  nobles  and  grandees. 

But  the  throne  of  Samarqand  was  not  a  bed  of  roses.   The 

f  Uzbeg  chief  collected  a  large  army  and  defeated  Babar  in 

y  highly  contested  battle  at  Archian  (June  1503).    Babar 

^ucceeded  with  difficulty  m  saving  his  life  and  wandered 

as  a  homeless  exile  for  about  a  year  in  great  misery,  but 

not  even  these  reverses  could  destroy  the  serenity  jand 

cheerfulness  of  his  temper.  -  Farghana  was  also  lost. 

Shaibani  Khan  had  in  the  meantime  acquired  easy 
possession  of  the  whole  country  of  Khorasan,  and  there 
was  none  to  check  his  rising  power.  Even  Babar  trembl- 
ed for  his  safety,  and  anxiously  watched  the  movements 
of  his  foes,  who  had  ravaged  Transoxiana,  Khwarizm, 
Farghfina  and  Khorasan,  and  had  driven  the  Timurids 
from  their  thrones.  The  Uzbegs  advanced  upon  Qandhar 
and  their  approach  alarmed  Babar  who  retired  towards 
Hindustan.  But  luckily  for  him  a  rebellion  occurred  in 
another  part  of  Shaibani's  dominions  which  obliged  him  to 


raise  the  siege  of  Qandhar.  This  hasty  retreat  enabled 
Babar  to  return  to  his  capital  soon  afterwards.  It  was  at 
this  time  that  he  assumed  the  title  of  Padshah— '  emperor, ' 
a  title  not  yet  adopted  by  any  Timurid.  Though  his 
throne  was  far  from  secure,  the  adoption  of  this  new 
title  marked  an  important  change  in  his  political  ideas. 

Having  established  himself  firmly  at  Kabul,  Babar 
once  again  tried  to  conquer  Samarqand.  The  destruction 
of  Shaibani  Khan  at  the  hands  of  Ismail,  the  founder  of  the 
Saf  vi  line  of  the  kings  of  Persia,  encouraged  him  in  his 
designs.  With  his  help  Babar  marched  against  the  Uzbegs. 
His  name  worked  like  magic,  and  the  people  of  town  and 
countryside  extended  to  him  a  cordial  welcome.  Bokhara 
was  soon  reached,  and  Babar  acquired  it  without  encoun- 
tering any  resistance.  From  Bokhara  he  advanced  upon 
Samarqand  and  entered  it  in  triumph  in  October  1511, 
after  an  absence  of  nine-years. 

But  his  position  was  far  from  secure.  The  fates  had 
ruled  that  Babar  should  not  sway  Timur's  sceptre.  His 
outward  conformity  to  the  Shia  formulae,  which  was  one 
of  the  conditions  of  his  treaty  with  Shah  Ismail,  provoked 
the  resentment  of  his  subjects  who  lost  confidence  in  him 
and  began  to  look  upon  him  as  a  heretic.  For  eight  months 
he  enjoyed  himself  in  the  capital  of  Timur,  but  he  was  soon 
alarmed  by  the  news  that  the  Uzbegs  under  Shaibani's 
son  were  about  to  march  against  Bokhara.  Forthwith  he 
proceeded  against  them  ;  but  in  the  battle  that  followed  he 
was  utterly  routed  in  1512.  Thus  defeated,  he  withdrew  to 
the  fortress  of  Hisar,  The  Persian  force  sent  by  Shah 
Ismail  to  aid  him  was  defeated  by  the  Uzbegs,  and  its 
general  was  slain  in  battle.  Babar  was  reduced  to  great 
straits  and  in  despair  he  once  again  turned  to  Kabul.  He 


was  now  convinced  of  the  impossibility  of  gaining  success 
in  the  west,  and  therefore  made  up  his  mind  to  try  his. 
luck  in  the  east. 

Babar's  final  invasion  of  Hindustan  was  preceded  by  a 
number  of  preliminary  raids  in  Indian  territory  which 

deserve  a  passing  mention.  The  fortress  of 
Raid?  Indian  Bajour  was  captured  after  a  gallant  defence 

by  the  beleagured  garrison  and  Babar  right* 
ly  regarded  it  as  the  first.  He  marched  against  Bhira 
(1519)  on  the  Jhelam  which  he  captured  without  encounter- 
ing any  resistance.  The  people  were  treated  kindly  and 
the  soldiers  who  were  guilty  of  excesses  were  put  to 
death.  At  the  suggestion  of  his  advisers  he  sent  an 
ambassador  to  Sultan  Ibrahim  Lodi  to  demand  the  restoration 
of  the  '  countries  which  from  old  times  had  belonged  to 
the  Turks,  '  but  he  was  detained  by  DaulatKhan  at  Lahore 
so  that  he  returned  after  five  months  without  a  reply. 
Having  subdued  Bhira,  Khushab  and  the  country  of  the 
Chenab,  Babar  returned  to  Kabul  by  the  Kurram  Pass. 
During  this  period  he  had  a  surfeit  of  pleasure  and  merri- 
ment. He  became  a  hard  drunkard  and  began  to  drug  him- 
self with  opium.  In  the  cwnpany  of  his  friends  and  generals 
Babar  held  drinking  boufs  which  often  grew  so  uproarious 
and  noisy  as  to  become  '  burdensome  and  unpleasant. ' 

Though  Babar  frequently  gave  a  free  rein  to  mirth  and 
excess,  he  was  not  a  slave  to  his  senses.  The  Bacchanalian 
revels  of  which  the  Memoirs  speak  with  striking  candour, 
did  not  interfere  with  the  progress  of  his  expeditions.  In 
1520  Badakhshan  was  seized,  and  Prince  Humayun  was 
appointed  to  its  charge.  Two  years  later  he  wrested 
Qandhar  from  the  Arghuns  and  entrusted  it  to  his 
younger  son  Kamran  Mirza. 


Freed  from  danger  in  the  Afghan  region,  Babar  again 
turned  his  attention  towards  Hindustan.  The  government 
of  Ibrahim  Lodi,  the  Afghan  ruler  at  Delhi,  was  deservedly 
unpopular,  and  the  leading  Afghan  barons  were  driven  into 
revolt  by  his  hauteur  and  policy  of  persecution.  The  dis- 
content of  the  barons  reached  its  highest  pitch  when 
Ibrahim  cruelly  treated  Dilawar  Khan,  son  of  Daulat  Khan 
Lodi.  Annoyed  at  this  treatment,  the  latter  sent  through 
his  son  an  invitation  to  Babar  at  Kabul  to  invade  Hindustan. 

Such  a  proposal  was  welcome  to  Babar  who  had  long 
cherished  the  dream  of  the  conquest  of  Hindustan.  Babar 
started  from  Kabul  in  1524  and  advanced  upon  Lahore 
where  he  routed  an  Afghan  army  The  city  fell  into  his 
hands,  but  Daulat  Khan  who  had  masked  his  allegiance 
under  the  cloak  of  ambition  disapproved  of  these  proceed- 
ings. Babar  did  not  mind  his  murmurs  and  entrusted  to 
him  the  fief  of  Jalandhar  and  Sultanpur,  but  Daulat  Khan 
soon  fell  out  of  favour  owing  to  his  hostile  intrigues.  He 
was  deprived  of  his  jagir  which  was  conferred  upon 
Dilawar  Khan  who  had  revealed  Daulat's  hostile  plans  to 
Babar.  Having  made  over  Dipalpur  to  Alam  Khan, 
Babar  returned  to  Kabul 

Babar's  departure  brought  Daulat  Khan  once  more 
upon  the  scene.  He  wrested  Sultanpur  from  his  son  and 
drove  AlamKhan  from  Dipalpur.  Alam  Khan  fled  to  Kabul 
and  made  a  treaty  with  Babar  by  which  he  agreed  to  cede 
to  him  Lahore  and  the  country  to  the  west  of  it,  if  he  were 
seated  upon  the  throne  of  Delhi.  Alam  Khan,  who  was  a, 
nerveless  ad  venturer,  shortly  afterwards,  broke  this  treaty 
at  the  instigation  of  Daulat  Khan,  and  both  together  made 
a  joint  attack  upon  Ibrahim  Lodi,  but  the  latter  drove 
them  from  the  field  of  battle  with  heavy  losses. 


Babar  was  eager  for  the  conquest  of  Hindustan  but 

as  Professor   Rushbrook-Williams,  rightly    observes    the 

intrigues  of  Daulat  Khan  and  the  faithless* 

PanlpaV  I62°6f    ness    of  Alam    Khan    had    jmodified  ito 

~wKole  situation.    He  could  no  longer  act  in 

collaboration  with  them,  and  therefore  decided  to  striice 

unaided  for  the  empire  ofHindustan.  When  he  reached 

Daulat    Khan    made  fresh    overtures  and 
implored  forgiveness.    With  his   usual  magnanimity  he 
pardoned  his  offences  and  allowed  him  to  retain  possession 
of  his  tribal  villages,  but  deprived  him  of  the  rest  of  his 
property.    The  Punjab  easily  came  into  his  hands,  but  the 
more  difficult  task  was  to  conquer  Delhi     His  resources 
were  inadequate  for  this  enterprise  ;  he  had  to  fight  not 
only  against  frontier  tribes  but  against  the  whole  might  of 
an  organised  empire  in  a  country  with  which  he  was  but 
imperfectly  acquainted.    These  seeming  disadvantages  did 
not  damp  his  enthusiasm,  and  he  embarked  on  his  task 
with  his  usual  courage  and  optimism,  as  is  shown  by  the 
following  passage  which  we  come  across  in  the  Memoirs  : 
"  Having  placed  my  foot  in  the  stirrup  of  resolu- 
tion and  my  hand  on  the  reins  of  confidence  in  God,  I 
marched  against  Sultan  Ibrahim,  son  of  Sultan  Sikan- 
dar,  son  of  the  Sultan  Bahlal  Lodi    Afghan,  in  whose 
possession  throne  of  Delhi  and  the  dominions  of  Hindus- 
tan at  that  time  were.  "  l 

Babar  's  approach  was  welcomed  by  the  discontented  ele- 
ments in  the  country.  It  appears  that  at  this  time  he 
received  a  message  from  Rana  Sangram  Singh  of  Mewar, 
he  afterwards  accused  of  the  non-fulfilment  of  his 

1  King,  Memoirs  II,  p.  174. 


promise.1  Hearing  the  news  of  Babar's  approach, 
Ibrahim  sent  two  advance  parties  to  deal  with  him,  but 
both  of  them  were  defeated  and  Babar  advanced  un- 
hindered as  far  as  Sirsawah  Here  he  busied  himself  in 
making  preparations  for  a  decisive  contest  with  the 
Afghans.  As  the  latter  outnumbered  him  by  thousands, 
he  realised  that  he  could  defeat  them  only  by  an  effective 
•combination  of  his  highly  trained  cavalry  and  his  new 
artillery.  His  generals  Ustad  Ali  and  Mustafa  could 
easily  scatter  an  undisciplined  host,  if  they  were  proper- 
ly assisted  by  infantry  and  cavalry  men,  and  on  this 
Babar  concentrated  his  full  attention  He  collected  700 
gun  carts  which,  fastened  together  by  twisted  raw  bull 
hides,  were  to  form  a  laager  for  the  protection  of  the 
musketeers  and  matchlockmen.  Between  each  pair  of 
waggons  were  constructed  small  breastworks  (tura)  in 
large  numbers  along  that  portion  of  the  front  which 
Ustad  Ali  and  Mustafa  were  to  occupy. 

Two  marches  brought  Babar  and  his  army  to  Panipat 
4  small  village  near  Delhi,  where  the  fate  of  India  has  been 
thrice  decided,  on  April  12,  1526.  He  took  up  a  position 
which  was  strategically  highly  advantageous.  His  right 
wing  was  to  be  sheltered  by  the  town  of  Panipat;  in  the 
•centre  were  posted  cannon  and  matchlockmen,  and  he 
.strengthened  it  with  the  line  of  breastworks  and  waggons, 
which  he  had  already  prepared.  The  left  was  strengthened 

1   In  recording  the  events  which  occurred  after  the  battle  of  Panipat 
•Babar  writes : — 

"  Although  Rana  Sanga,  the  Pagan,  when  I  was  in  Kabul*  had  sent  me 
an  ambassador  with  professions  of  attachment  and  had  arranged  with 
me,  that*  if  I  would  march  from  that  quarter  into  the  vicinity  of  Delhi, 
the  would  march  from  the  other  side  upon  Agra  ;  vet  when  I  defeated 
Ibrahim,  and  took  Delhi  and  Agra,  the  Pagan,  during  all  my  operations, 
did  aot  make  a  single  movement."  King,  Memoirs,  II,  p.  254. 


by  digging  a  ditch  and  constructing  an  abatis  of  felled 
trees.  The  line  which  protected  the  centre  was  not  conti- 
nuous, and  Babar  took  care  to  leave  gaps,  at  intervals  of  a 
bowshot,  large  enough  for  a  hundred  or  hundred  and  fifty 
men  to  charge  abreast.  Such  were  the  preparations  which 
Babar  made  for  his  coming  encounter  with  the  enemy. 

Sultan  Ibrahim  had  also  reached  Panipat  at  the  head 
of  a  large  army.  Babar  estimated  that  he  had  with  him 
one  hundred  thousand  men— a  formidably  large  number 
—which  must  have  included  non-effectives  also*  He  writes 
in  his  Memoirs  that  Ibrahim  might  have  collected  a  large 
force  still  had  he  not  been  so  niggardly  in  spending 
money,  for  in  Hindustan,  it  is  easy  to  obtain  soldiers  for 
hire.  The  Afghan  side  was  weaker  partly  because 
Ibrahim's  soldiers  were  mostly  mercenaries  and  partly 
because  the  Sultan  himself  was  an  inexperienced  man, 
'  who  marched  without  order,  retired  or  halted  without 
plan  and  engaged  in  battle  without  foresight. H 

The  two  armies  faced  each  other  for  eight  days  but 
neitl  er  side  took  the  offensive.    At  last  Babar 's  patience- 
was  tired  out,  and  he  resolved  on  prompt  action.  He  divided 
his  men  after  the  traditional  manner  of  the  east  into  three 
sections -the  right,  centre  and  left  -and  posted  flanking 
parties  of  Mongols  on  the  extreme  right  and  left  to  effect 
the  charge  of  the  tulughma—a  well-known  Mongol  ma- 
noeuvre in  order  to  produce  a  deadly  effect  on  the  enemy. 
The  army  of  Delhi  advanced  to  attack  Babar's    right' 
whereupon  he  ordered  the  reserve  to  march  to  its  rescue. 
The  Afghans  pressed  on,  but  when  they  approached  the- 
ditches,  abatis  and  hurdles,  they  hesitated  for  a  moment,. 

1  King,  Memoirs  II,  p.  183. 


not  knowing:  whether  they  should  attack  or  retire.    The 
rear  ranks  pushed  forward,    and  their   pressure   from 
behind  caused  some  disorder  of  which  Babar  took  full 
advantage.   His  flanking  parties  on  both  extremes  wheeled 
round  and  attacked  the  enemy  in  rear,  while  the  right  and 
left  wings  pressed  forward  and  the  centre  discharged  fire 
with  deadly  effect.    The  battle  raged  fiercely,   and  the 
Afghan  wings  were  driven  into  hopeless  confusion    by 
Babar's  flankers.    They  were  hemmed  in  on  all  sides  and 
attacked    with     arrows  and  artillery.     Ustad    Ali    and 
Mustafa,  Babar's  captains  of    artillery,    poured    death 
upon  the  disorderly  Afghan  crowd  which  was  now  unable 
to  advance  or  retreat.    The  men  fought  with  great  cour- 
age but  hopeless  confusion  followed.    The  carnage  last- 
ed some  hours,   and  the  troops,  pressed  from  all  sides, 
sought     refuge  in  flight.     Ibrahim's  army   was   utterly 
-defeated,   and  the  losses  on  his  side  were   appallingly 
heavy.    According  to  the  calculation  of  Babar's  officers 
about  15  or  16  thousand  men  perished  on  the  field  of  battle. 
Ibrahim   died  fighting  like  a  valiant   Afghan,  and   his 
xiead  body  was  discovered  amidst  a  heap  of  corpses  that 
lay  near  him.     Babar  learnt  afterwards  at  Agra  that 
altogether  forty  or  fifty  thousand  men  had  fallen  in  this 
battle. !    The  success  of  Babar  was  due  to  skilled  general- 
ship and  a  scientific  combination  of  cavalry Hand  artillery. 
IbrafimP's  head  was  brought  to  Babar  along  with  a  large 
number  of  prisoners  and  spoils  of  all  kinds.    The  battle 
lasted  till  mid-day  and  Babar  writes  that  by  the  grace 
and  mercy  of  Almighty  God  the  mighty  army  of  Delhi  was 
in  the  space  of  half  a  day  laid  in  the  dust. 

1  Babar  writes  that  on  reaching  Agra  he  found  from  the  accounts 
of  the  natives  of  Hindustan  that  forty  or  fifty  thousand  men  had  fallen 
in  the  field.  Memoirs  II,  p.  187. 


The  battle  of  Panipat  placed  the  empire  of  Delhi  in 
Babar's  hands.  The  power  of  the  Lodi  dynasty  was  shat- 
tered to  pieces,  and  the  sovereignty  of  Hindustan  passed 
to  the  Chaghtai  Turks.  Babar  distributed  the  vast  booty 
that  came  into  his  hands  among  his  kinsmen  and  officers.. 
Offerings  were  sent  to  Mecca  and  Medina,  and  so  great 
was  the  generosity  shown  by  the  conqueror  that  every 
living  person  in  Kabul  received  a  silver  coin  as  a  token 
of  royal  favour.  Immediately  after  the  battle  he  sent 
Prince  Humayun  to  capture  Agra  and  followed  himself 
soon  afterwards.  Humayun  accorded  to  him  a  warm  wel- 
come and  presented  to  him  the  famous  diamond  which  he 
had  obtained  from  the  Raja  of  Gwalior,  but  Babar  with 
his  usual  generosity  gave  it  back  to  his  son. 

Babar  was  not  yet  firmly  seated  upon  the  throne  of 
Delhi.  He  had  to  wrest  the  country  from  the  Afghan 
barons  who  held  large  fiefs  all  over  Hindustan.  How 
was  this  to  be  accomplished  ?  His  officers  dreaded  thejhot 
weather  and  felt  anxious  to  get  back  to  their  homes.  A 
war  council  was  summoned  and  Babar  appealed  to  his  Begs 
to  stay  and  to  renounce  their  seditious  purposes.  The 
appeal  produced  the  desired  effect,  and  with  the  exception 
of  one  man  all  expressed  their  determination  to  remain 
with  him.  This  decision  of  Babar  was  momentous  for  two 
reasons.  In  the  first  place,  itjogened  the  eyes  of  the  Raj- 
puts to^  the  greatjangerjhat  loomed  on  the  horizon,  and 

the  submission  of  several 

notable  chiefs  in  the  Doab  and  elsewhere.  His  own  chiefs* 
werTsaHsiie*  tjr  the  grant  of  jagirs  and  helped  him  in 
reducing  a  large  part  of  the  country  to  submission.  Biyana, 
Gwalior  and  Dholpur  were  all  subdued.  Jaunpur,  Ghazipur 
and  Kalpi  were  conquered  by  Humayun,  while  Babar 


remained  at  Agra  thinking  out  ways  and  means  of  dealing 
with  the  Rajputs.  It  was  at  this  time  that  an  unsuccess- 
ful attempt  was  made  to  poison  him  by  the  mother  of 
Ibrahim  Lodi.  Had-  her  nefarious  design  succeeded,  the 
histORMtfJndfe  would  .have  been  different. 

)(The  most  formidable  chieftain  against  whom  Babar 
had  still  to  fight  was  Rana  Sangram  Singh,  better  known 

to  fame  as  Rana  Sanga,  of  Mewar. )  He  came 
the  Rajput  °f  the  noble  ^tock^of  Sisodja  andwasTe^ 

nownecT  alFover  RajastKan  as  a  prince  of 
great  intellect,  valour  and  virtue,  and  occupied  a'premier 
position  among  his  f  ellow-princes.J  His^gmi^exploits  are 
commemoratecLJn  the  Rajput  Saga,  ^ndlhe^Dards  of 

Rajasthan  still  relate  the  tale  ofhis  heroic  achievements. 
He  waged  wars  against  his  neighbours,  and  by  his  con- 
quests greatly  enlarged  the  small  principality  of  Mewar. 
He  had  undertaken  several  successful  campaigns  against 
the  ruler  of  Malwa.  He  had  conquered  Bhilsa,  Sarangpur, 
Chanderi  and  Ranthambhor  and  entrusted  them  to  vassals 
of  his  own.  The  princes  of  Marwar  and  Amber  acknow- 
ledged his  preeminence  and  the  Raos  of  Gwalior,  Ajmer, 
Sikri,Raiseen,Kalpi,  Chanderi,  Bundi,Gagraon,  Rampura, 

and  Abu  paid  homage  as  his  feudatories.  MThe 


the  Delhi  empire  and  the  constant  quarrels  of  the  Afghan 
Barons  had  indirectly  strengthened  Sanga  by  giving  him 
an  opportunity  of  developing  his  power  unhindered.^  His 
military  resources  exceeded  those  of  all  other  princes  of 
his  time,  and  Tod  writes  that  eighty  thousand  horse,  seven 
Rajas  of  the  highest  rank,  nine  Raos  and  one  hundred 
and  four  chieftains  bearing  the  titles  of  Rawal  and  Rawat 

1  Tod,  Annals  and   Antiquities  of  Rajasthan,  edited  by  Grooke,  I, 
pp.  848-49. 


with  five  hundred  war  elephants  followed  him  to  the  field 
of  battle.  '  He  made  his  power  felt  in  Central  India  and 
Gujarat  and  greatly  added  to  the  prestige  of  his  house,  so 
much  so  indeed,  that  even  Bqbar.  who  found  injiim  a  foe 
worthy  ofjhisjgteel,  ^admits  that  the  position  '•to*  which  he 
won  by  his  valour  and  sword.  Our 
admiration  for  him  increases  all  the  more  when  we  learn 
how  much  his  wars  had  cost  his  iron  frame.  He  had  lost 

one  eye,  one  arm  and  one  If^  in  han-io  all  of  which  con- 
stituted proofs  of  his  unremi^tijo^exertions  in  war.  No 
wonder,  then,  if  the  spirits  of  Babar  's  soldiers  aricl  officers 
sank  before  the  men  who  swept  like  an  avalanche  towards 
the  battlefield  of  Kanwah  under  the  leadership  of  the 
greatest  Hindu  warrior  of  the  age. 

The  Rana  had  opened  negotiations  with  Babar  when 
he  was  at  Kabul,  but  had  not  kept  his  promise.  Erskinein 
his  History  of  India  puts  forward  the  view  that  it  seems  to 
have  been  arranged  between  the  parties  that  while  Babar 
attacked  Sultan  Ibrahim  from  the  Delhi  side,  Rana  Sanga 
was  to  attack  him  from  the  side  of  Agra.2  Both  accused 
each  other  of  bad  faith,  and  the  Rana  claimed  Kalpi, 
Dholpur,  and  Biyana  which  had  been  occupied  by  Babar's 
officers.  The  Rana  advanced  towards  Biyana  and  was 
joined  by  Hasan  Khan  Mewati.  One  of  his  sons  had  been 
captured  by  Babar  in  the  battle  of  Panipat  and  detained 
as  a  hostage.  At  Hasan's  presistent  entreaties  he  was 
released  in  the  belief  that  this  act  of  magnanimity  will  be 
appreciated  by  the  Mewati  chieftain.  But  it  turned  out  a 
vain  hope.  No  sooner  was  the  young  man  released  than 

1  Tod,  1,  p.  848. 

1  History  of  India,  Vol.  I,  p.  462. 


his  father  joined  Rana  Sanga  and  made  common  cause 
with  him. 

The  alliance  of  these  two  formidable  antagonists 
greatly  perturbed  Babar  and  on  the  llth  of  February, 
1527.  he  marched  out  of  Agra  to  take  the  field  against 
na  Sanga  and  encamped  at  Sikri,  a  village  near  Fateh- 
pur,  the  deserted  city  of  Akbar.  Hitherto  he  had  fought 
against  Muslims  ;  he  had  met  the  Uzbeg,  the  Afghan  and 
the  Turk  in  battle,  but  he  had  never  encountered  such 
dauntless  fighters  as  the  Rajputs  who  were  asjainous  for 
their  chivajry^  pjid  jg^lla,ntry  as  f^TK^^complete"3is- 
regard^o^Tlife.  ItL1^!!!^^-^^! 
Rajput  defied  death  and  destruction  even  when  matched 

•KT~^       ||.    — •***-•        ^*~*— - .-  *-»— — •?•"*•• "— «v^ v*r  -v^_  f^*^^^^1'^^^11^ 

agai^nstjxfiav^odds.  The  Rana  was  near  "at  hand,  and  the 
Rajputs  succeeded  in  repelling  an  attack  by  one  of  Babar's 

Babar  engaged  himself  in  making  preparations  for 
battle,  but  his  men  were  affrighted  by  the  reports  of 
Rajput  strength  and  valour*  Just  at  this  time  came  an 
astrologer,  whom  Babar  describes  as  a  '  rascally  fellow/ 
from  Kabul  who  began  to  disconcert  the  army  by  his 
ominous  predictions.  Without  heeding  the  forecasts  of 
thi^bird  of  evil  presage  Babar  took  steps  to^sj^lj^fragb 
hjfpe.and,  ardpurjinto  the  hearts  of  Jus _  s^j.^rs.  Hej 
renounced  wine,  poured  out  large  quantities  on  the 
ground,  broke  all  his  costly  vessels,  and  took  a  solemn  vow 
not  to  indulge  in  liquor  again.  At  the  same  time  to  mark 
his  penitence  he  remitted  the  stamp  dutv^  in  case  of 
Muslims  and  issued  a  farman  in  which  he  made  several, 
important  concessions  to  his  co-religionists. 

Babar  reinforced  this  act  of  abstinence  with  a  direct 
appeal.  Calling  together  his  officers  and  men  he  spoke  ia 

F.  20 


words  which  recall  to  our  minds  the  melodramatic  elo- 
quence of  Napoleon  Bonaparte  on  such  occasions.  This 
is  what  he  said  : 

"  Noblemen  and  soldiers  !  Every  man  that  comes 
into  the  world  is  subject  to  dissolution  When  we  are 
passed  away  and  gone,  God  only  survives,  unchange- 
able. Whoever  comes  to  the  feast  of  life  must,  before 
it  is  over,  drink  from  the  cup  of  death.  He  who  arrives 
at  the  inn  of  mortality  must  one  day  inevitably  take 
his  departure  from  that  house  of  sorrow — the  world. 
How  much  better  is  it  to  die  with  honour  than  to  live 
with  infamy  ! 

\  With  fame,  even  if  I  die,  I  am  contented  ; 
\  Let  fame  be  mine,  since  my  body  is  death's. 
The  Most  High  God  has  been  propitious  to  us,  and 
has  now  placed  us  in  such  a  crisis,  that  if  we  fall  in  the 
field,  we  die  the  death  of  martyr  ;  if  we  survive,  we 
rise  victorious,  the  avengers  of  the  cause  of  God.     Let 
us,  then,  with  one  accord,  swear  on  God's  holy  word, 
that  none  of  us  will  even  think  of  turning  his  face  from 
this  warfare,  nor  desert  from  the  battle  and  slaughter 
that  ensues,  till  his  soul  is  separated  from  his  body. " 
This  appeal  produced  the  desired  effect  and  the  officers 
as  well  as  the  men  swore  by  the  Holy  Book  to  stand  by 

Rana  Sanga  brought  into  the  field  an  army  which  far 
jxceedecTthat  of  Jiis  adversary  in  numerical  strength.  The 
menace  ota  foreign  invasion  had  called  into  existence  a 
powerful  confederacy  of  Raiputchief a  under  the  leadership 
of  the  redoubtable  sanga.  Silahadi,  the  chief  of  Bhilsa, 
joined  the  confederacy  with  30  thousand  horse,  Hasan 
Khan  of  Mewat  with  12  thousand,  Medini  Rao  of  Chanderi 


with  12  thousand  and  Rawal  Udai  Singh  of  Dungarpur  with 
ten  thousand,  and  Sultan  Mahmud  Lodi,  a  son  of  Sultan 
Sikandar  Lodi,  who  had  been  acknowledged  as  king  of 
Delhi  by  the  Rana  also  came  to  take  part  in  the  battle  at 
the  head  of  ten  thousand  mercenaries.  There  were  minor 
chiefs  who  brought  their  forces  from  four  to  seven 
thousand  men  to  swell  the  ranks  of  the  army.  According 
to  Babar's  estimate  the  Rajput  army  numbered  two 
hundred  and  one  thousand.  This  is  doubtless  an 
exaggerated  estimate  The  numbers  are  overrated  so  far 
as  fighting  men  are  concerned.  There  may  have  been 
numerous  camp  followers  and  others,  but  the  main  army 
consisted  of  nearly  120  thousand  horse— a  figure 
mentioned  in  the  Tabqat-i-Akbari  and  accepted  by 
Erskine.  Babar's  army  was  encamped  near  Kanwah,  a 
village  at  a  distance  of  ten  miles  from  Sikri.  Preparations 
were  vigorously  made  to  put  the  troops  in  order.  Babar 
divided  them  into  three  sections — the  right,  centre  and 
left.  He  entrusted  the  right  wing  to  Humayun,  the  left 
to  his  son-in-law  Saiyyad  Mehdi  Khwaja,  both  of  whom 
were  assisted  by  tried  and  capable  officers.  The  centre 
was  commanded  by  himself  with  his  trusty  Begs,  and  on 
the  right  and  left  were  posted  two  flanking  parties 
(tulughma)  to  charge  on  the  enemy's  flank  and  rear  in  the 
heat  of  battle.  The  artillery  men  and  musketeers  were 
posted  along  the  front  of  the  line  protected  by  chained 
waggons  and  breastworks,  and  Ustad  Ali  was  ordered  to 
occupy  a  position  in  front  of  the  centre  with  the  heavy 

It  was  on  Saturday  the  16th  of  March.  1527.  that  the 
two  armies  came  face  to  face  with  each  other.  The  battle 
i>egan  at  9  or  d-30  in  the  morning  and  lasted  till  evening. 


Babar  employed  the  same  tactics  as  at  Panipat  and  caused 
a  terrible  confusion  in  the  Rana's  army.  But  nothing  could 
bend  the  spirit  of  the  Rajputs  who  at  first  swept  away  the 
enemy  by  the  sheer  weight  of  numbers.  Towards 
evening  the  day  was  decided.  The  Rajputs  suffered  a 
terrible  defeat  and  broke  up  in  panic.  The  field  wag- 
strewn  with  human  corpses  and  so  were  the  roads  to 
Biyana  and  Alwar.  The  slaughter  was  fearful,  and 
among  those  who  perished  in  the  conflict  were  Hasan 
Khan  Mewati,  Rawal  Udai  Singh  of  Dungarpur  and  a 
number  of  lesser  chieftains.  Rana  Sanga  escaped  from 
the  field  through  the  efforts  of  his  followers  and  sought 
jrefuge  in  one  of  his  hill  fortresses.  Babar  ordered  a 
tower  of  skulls  to  be  built  on  a  mound  near  the  camp 
and  assumed  the  title  of  Ghazi  or  champion  of  the  faith. 
The  Rajput  annals  ascribe  Sanga's  defeat  to  the 
treachery  of  a  Rajput  chief  who  had  joined  as  an  ally, 
but  there  is  no  foundation  for  this  view.  However  that 
may  be,  the  battle  of  Kanwah  is  one  of  the  decisive 
battles  of  Indian  history.  Professor  Rushbrook- Williams 
has  described  its  importance  in  a  passage  which  is  worthy 
of  reproduction  :  — 

"In  the  first  place,  the  InetiaW  of  Rajput 
supremacy  which  had  loomed,  large  before  the  eyes  of 
Muhammadans  in  India  for~the  last  few  years  was 
removed  once  for  all.  The  powerful  confederacy, 
which  depended  so  largely  for  its  unity  upon  the 
strength  and  reputation  of  Mewar,  was  shattered  by  a 
single  great  defeat,  and  ceased  henceforth  to  be  a  domi- 
nant factor  in  the  politics  of  Hindustan.  Secondly,  the 
MughaUniEire  ofjndia  was  soon  firmly  established? 
fiabaiThad  definitely  seated  himself  upon  the  throne  of 


Sultan  Ibrahim,  and  the  sign  and  seal  of  his  achieve- 
ment had  been  the  annihilation  of  Sultan  Ibrahim's^ 
most  formidable  antagonists.  Hitherto,  the  occupation 
of  Hindustan  might  have  been  looked  upon  as  a  mere 
episode  in  Babar's  career  of  adventurel  but  from 
henceforth  it  becomes  the  keynote  of  his  activities  for 
the  remainder  of  his  life.  His  da^s  of  wandering  in 
search  of  a  fortune  are  now  passed  away  :  the  fortune 
is  Ms,  jand^  he  has  but  to  show  himself  worthy  ofltr 
And  it  is  significant  of  the  new  stage  in  his  career 
which  this  battle  marks  that  never  afterwards  does  he 
have  to  stake  his  throne  and  life  upon  the  issue  of  a 
stricken  field.  Fighting  there  is,  and  fighting  in  plenty, 
to  be  done  :  but  it  is  fighting  for  the  extension  of  his 
power,  for  the  reduction  of  rebels,  for  the  ordering 
of  his  kingdom.  It  is  never  fighting  for  his  throne. 
And  it  is  also  significant  of  Babar's  grasp  of  vit§J 
issues  that  from  henceforth  the  Centre  of  gravity  _of 
his  power  is  shijted,fs)i^^  l 

'The  Rajput  confederacy  was  broken  up  but  Babar 
was  not  yet  complete  master  of  Hindustan.     He  must 
subdue  several  chieftains  before  he  could 

<;on-     claim  to  be  a  sovereign  in  the  full  sense  of 
Kingship.  the  term.    Professor  Rushbrook-Williams  in 

reviewing  Babar's  position  after  the  battle 
of  Kanwah  argues  that  he  had  not  merely  to  conquer  a 
kingdom  but  to  recreate  a  theory  of  kingship.  He  speaks 
of  Ibrahim's  failure  to  restore  to  the  Sultanate  of  Delhi 
that  absolute  authority  which  it  had  possessed  in  the 
days  of  the  Tughluqs.  He  found  it  impossible  to  do 

1  Empire  Builder  of  the  Sixteenth  Century,  pp.    156-57. 


so  because  his  government  was  not  a  *  divine  inheritance ' 
but  a  *  human  concession. '  The  Afghan  ruler  was  only 
Primus  inter  vares,  and  the  division  of  the  empire  into 
Heta  managed  by  barons  who  were  virtually  independent 
further  tended  to  undermine  people's  belief  in  the 
mysterious  divinity  that  hedgeth  round  the  person  of  a 
king.  Babar  discarded  the  title  of  Sultan  and  called 
himself  a  PadshajffT  It  is  not  that  this  declaration  made 
the  oriice  sacrosanct  in  the  eyes  of  ambitious  men,  for 
I  only  after  ten  years  Humayun  was  expelled  from  the 
(throne  in  spite  of  his  '  divine  inheritance  and  Timurid 
descent/  But  it  served  a  great  need  of  the  time.  It 
proclaimed  to  the  world  that  Babar  meant  to  be  some- 
thing more  than  a  mere  Sultan,  a  full-fledged  despot 
determined  to  sweep  away  all  vestige  of  independence 
and  co-ordinate  authority  It  emphasised  his  appreciation 
of  the  need  for  a  centralised  government  in  the  midst  of 
warring  factions  and  tribes.  Ideas  rule  mankind-  and 
subsequent  generations  wec^delighted  to  snatch  a  glimpse 
of  their  king  from  the  Jhlrokha  window  with  the  same 
reverence  and  devotion  as  they  showed  towards  the  Deity. 
One  of  the  chief  strongholds  of  the  Rajputs  was  Chan- 
deri  which  was  in  the  possession  of  Medini  Rao.  Babar 
marched  against  him  and  reached  Chanderi 
Reduces  the  on  January  20,  152&  Medini" Rao  shut. 'him"- 

fort    of  unan-       —  *        T       ™  ••  - 

deri.  .         self  inj:hejfort  with  5.QOQ  pf   his    followers. 

'  "BaBar^offered  him  a  Jagir  in  lieu  of  Chan- 

deri  but  he  refuse? to  enter  iffEoTa  treaty  with  hmT  Just 
at  this  time  news  came  from  the  east  that  the  Afghans 
had  defeated  the  royal  army  and  compelled  it  to  leave 
Lakhnau  (Lucknow)  and  fall  back  on  Kanauj.  Babar 
kept  his  head  cool  in  spite  of  this  disquieting  news, 


and  pushed  on  the  siege  of  Chanderi.  The  fort  was 
attacked  on  all  sides  with  such  vigour  that  the  Rajputs, 
when  they  saw  no  hope  of  escape  practised  the  usual 
rite  of  Jauhar^  and  with  great  gallantry  drove  the 
enemy  along  the  rampartg.  A  brilliant  assault  followed, 
ancPEKe  Tort  "was  captured  by  Babar.  Soon  after  this 
died  the  valiant  Rana  Sanga  and  his  death  marked  the 
final  collapse  of  the  Rajput  confederacy.  The  rebellious 
Afghan  barogs  were  subdued,  and  Babar  enjoyed  an 
interval  of  quiet  till  the  end  of  the  year  1528. 

But  the  Afghan  danger  was  not  yet  over.  Mahmud 
Lodi,  brother  of  Ibrahim,  had  seized  Bihar  and  a  large 
part  of  the  eastern  country  had  declared  for 
l1  him.  Babar  sent  his  son  Askari  with  a  force 
-  against  the  rebellious  leader  and  himself 
followed  a  little  later.  On  hearing  of  his  approach  the 
enemy  melted  away,  and  as  Babar  passed  Allahabad, 
Chunar  and  Benares  on  his  way  to  Buxar  several  Afghan, 
chiefs  waited  upon  him  and  made  their  submission.  Mah- 
mud, deserted  by  his  chief  supporters,  found  refuge  in 
Bengal.  The  ruler  of  Bengal,  NusratShah,  had  given  Babar 
an  assurance  of  his  good-will,  but  his  troops  gave  shelter 
to  the  fugitive  Afghan  prince.  Babar  marched  towards 
Bengal,  and  defeated  the  Afghans  in  the  famous  battle  of 
the  Gogra  on  May  6,  1529.  This  victory  ruined  the  hopes  o£ 
trie  jjoais,  ana  Drought  to  Babar  the  submission  of  several 
leacting  AtghanHSarSfis.  TTaBaFmarched  back  to  Agra 
evidently  satisfied  with  ihe  result  of  his  brilliant  campaign. 

After  the  battle  of  Kanwah  Humayun  had  been  sent 

to  Kabul  wher«  trouble  was  apprehended,  but  his  failure 

iasty«ars       a£ainst   the    Uzbegs  greatly  disappointed 

Babar,  and  he  determined  to  set  out  in  person 


to  put  in  order  the  trans-Hindukush  part  of  his  empire. 
He  proceeded  as  far  as  Lahore,  but  declining  health  pre- 
vented him  from  going  further.  About  this  time  a  plot 
was  formed  to  place  on  the  throne,  to  the  exclusion  of 
Babar's  legitimate  heirs,  Mir  Muhammad  Khwaja,  a 
brother-in-law  of  Babar's  and  a  nobleman  of  high  rank, 
who  held  the  fief  of  Etawah.  When  Humayun  learnt  of 
this  plot,  he  left  Badakhshan  in  spite  of  the  requests  of 
the  Badakhshanis  to  the  contrary  and  arrived  at  Agra 
and  successfully  frustrated  the  attempts  of  the  conspira- 
tors. He  went  to  his  Jagir  at  Sambhal  where  after  some 
time  in  the  hot  weather  of  1530  he  fell  seriously  ill.  Babar 
was  much  upset  by  this  illness  and  ottered  to  sacrifice  his 
life  in  order  to  save  that  of  his  son.  His  nobles  implored 
him  to  desist  from  such  a  course  and  suggested  that  the 
precious  diamond  seized  at  Agra  might  be  given  away, 
but  he  held  it  a  poor  compensation  for  the  life  of  his  son. 
It  is  said  he  walked  three  times  round  the  bed  of  Humayun 
and  prayed  to  God  to  transfer  the  disease  to  him.  Im- 
mediately he  was  heard  to  say,  so  strong  was  the  force  of 
will,  "I  have  borne  it  away !  I  have  borne  it  away ! "  From 
that  moment,  Muhammadan  historians  tell  us,  Humayun 
recovered  his  health  and  Babar  declined  more  and  more. 

A  sudden  disorder  of  the  bowels  completely  pro- 
strated him  and  he  felt  certain  of  approaching  death 
Calling  his  chiefs  together  he  asked  them  to  acknowledge 
Humayun  as  his  successor  and  to  co-operate  with  him  in 
managing  his  kingdom.  Then  he  turned  towards  Huma- 
yup  and  addressed  to  him  the  following  words  :— 

"  I  commit  to  God's  keeping  you  and  your  brothers 
and  all  my  kinsfolk  and  your  people  and  my  people  ; 
d  all  of  these  I  confide  to  you."  * 


Three  days  later  he  passed  away  on  December  26, 
1530.  His  death  was  at  first  kept  a  secret,  but  after  some 
time  Araish  Khan,  one  of  the  nobles  of  Hind,  pointed 
•out  the  unwisdom  of  such  an  act.  He  reminded  the 
nobles  of  the  practice  of  the  bazar  people  to  rob  and  steal 
in  such  circumstances  and  warned  them  of  the  conse- 
quences of  concealment.  He  suggested  that  a  man  should 
be  seated  on  an  elephant,  and  he  should  go  about  the 
town  proclaiming  that  the  emperor  had  become  a  darvesh, 
and  had  given  the  kingdom  to  his  son  Humayun.  Humayun 
agreed  to  this.  The  populace  was  reassured  by  the  pro- 
clamation, and  all  prayed  for  his  welfare.1  Thus  Humayun 
ascended  the  throne  on  December  29,  1530,  and  gave 
assurance  of  his  sympathy  and  good-will  by  allowing  every 
one  '  to  keep  the  office  and  service,  and  lands,  and  residence 
which  he  had  enjoyed  during  his  father's  regime.'2 

Babar's  body  was  first  laid  in  Rambagh  or  Arambagh 
at  Agra  on  the  bank  of  the  Jamna,  but  later  it  was 
removed  to  Kabul  according  to  his  instructions  and  was 
buried  in  a  place  chosen  by  himself.  3 

Babar  had  no  time  to  devise  new  laws  or  establish 
institutions  for  the  governance  of  the  wide  dominions 
which  he  had  won  by  the  power  of  his 
sword.  He  accepted  the  system  which  he 

found  in  vogue  in  Hindustan,  and  parcelled 

1  Gulbadan,  Humayunnaraa,  pp.  109-10. 
8  Ibid  ,p.  ItO. 

3  Kabul  was  the  place  he  loved  most  in  his  dominions.  He 
was  enthusiastic  in  its  praise  and  wrote  :  '  The  climate  is  extremely 
delightful,  and  there  is  no  such  place  in  the  known  world  '  On  another 
occasion  he  said  :  *  Drink  wine  in  the  Citadel  of  Kabul,  and  send  round 
the  cup  without  stopping,  for  it  is  at  once  mountain  and  stream,  town 


out  his  empire  into  fiefs  which  he  entrusted  to  Jagirdar& 
dependent  upon  himself.  It  is  true  they  did  not  enjoy  the 
same  degree  of  independence  as  they  had  enjoyed  under 
the  Lodis,  but  the  defects  of  the  system  were  obvious. 
What  strikes  us  in  Babar's  reign  is  the  financial  Deficit 
caused  by  his  lavish  generosity  and  the  unsettled  condition 
of  the  country!  H^ad  remitted  the  stamp  djt£  levied 
on  the  Muslims  on  the  eve  oFti^  He 

had  so  recklessly  distributed  the  treasure  founcTat  Delhi 
and  AgnTtihat  he  was  obliged  to  have  recourse  to  adiji- 
tional  taxation  in  order  to  obtain  the  necessary  equipment 
for  the  army?"  Ev^yTn'anTia^fi^an  office  in  the  various 
departments  of  the  state  was  required  to  bring  to  the 
Diwan  a  hundred  and  thirty  instead  of  a  hundred  to  help 
in  procuring  the  right  kind  of  arms  and  supplies  for  the 
^  army.  2  The  results  of  this  financial  breakdown  were  seen 
in  the  reign  of  his  successor  and  we  may  agree  with  Pro- 
fessor Rushbrook-Williams  when  he  says  that  he  *  beque- 
athed to  his  son  a  monarchy  which  could  be  held  together 
only  by  the  continuance  of  war  conditions,  which  in  times 
of  peace  was  weak,  structureless  and  invertebrate  '  ' 

Babar  briefly  dwells  upon  the  political  situation  at  the 
time  of  his  invasion  and  gives  a  highly  detailed  and 
minute  account  of  the  flora  and  faun%_  of 
a  r  of     Hindustan-    He  makes  mention  of   moun- 

tains,  rivers,  jungles  and  the  various  kinds 
of  vegetables,   fruits  and  food-stuffs.    He 
expresses  a  poor  opinion  of  the  people  of  Hindustan  which. 

1  King,  Memoirs  II,  p.  281. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  345. 

3  Empire  Builder  of  the  Sixteenth  Century,  p.  I6j. 


is  wjiolly  exaggerated.  His  stay  in  India  was  much  too 
short  to  enable  him  to  acquaint  himself  fully  and  accu- 
rately with  the  ideas  and  habits  of  the  natives  of  the 
country.  This  is  what  he  writes  :— 

"Hindustan  is  a  country  that  has  few  pleasures  to 
recommend  it  The  people  are  not  handsome.  They 
have  no  idea  of  the  charms  of  friendly  society,  of 
frankly  mixing  together  or  of  familiar  intercourse. 
They  have  no  genius,  no  comprehension  of  mind,  no 
politeness  of  manner,  no  kindness  or  fellow-feeling,  no 
ingenuity  or  mechanical  invention  in  planning  or 
executing  their  handicraft  works,  no  skill  or  knowledge 
in  design  or  architecture  ;  they  have  no  horses,  no  good 
flesh,  no  grapes  or  musk-melons,  no  good  fruits,  no  ice 
or  cold  water,  no  good  food  or  bread  in  their  bazars,  no 
baths  or  colleges,  no  candles,  no  torches,  not  a 
candlestick.  Instead  of  a  candle  or  torch,  you  have 
a  gang  of  dirty  fellows,  whom  they  call  divatis,  who 
hold  in  their  left  hand  a  kind  of  small  tripod,  to  the 
side  of  one  leg  of  which,  it  being  wooden,  they  stick  a 
piece  of  iron  like  the  top  of  candlestick  ;  they  fasten  a 
pliant  wick,  of  the  size  of  the  middle  finger,  by  an  iron 
pin,  to  another  of  the  legs.  In  their  right  hand  they 
hold  a  gourd,  in  which  they  have  made  a  hole  for  the 
purpose  of  pouring  out  oil,  in  a  small  stream,  and 
whenever  the  wick  requires  oil,  they  supply  it  from 
this  gourd.  Their  great  men  kept  a  hundred  or  two 
hundred  of  these  divatis."  l 

He  goes  on  to  add  that  they  have  no  aqueducts  or  canals 
in  their  gardens  or  palaces  and  in  their  buildings  there  is 
neither  elegance  nor  regularity.  Their  peasants  and  the 

1  King,  Memoirs  II,  pp.  241-42. 

lower  classes  all  go  about  naked  and  use  only  a  langoti  to 
•cover  their  nakedness.  The  chief  excellence  of  Hindustan 
consists  in  tfte  fact  that  there  is  an  abundance  of  gold  and 
silver  in  the  country.  The  climate  is  very  pleasant  during 
the  rains.  There  is  no  dearth  of  workmen  of  every  profes- 
sion and  trade  and  they  are  always  open  to  engagement. 
Occupations  are  mostly  hereditary  and  for  particular 
foinds  of  work  particular  sets  of  people  are  reserved. 

According  to  Babar  the  countries  from  Bhereh  to 
Bihar  which  were  included  in  his  empire  yielded  a  revenue 
•of  52  crores  of  which  parganas  yielding  about  eight  or  nine 
crores  are  in  the  possession  of  Rajas  and  Rais  who  had 
always  been  loyal  to  the  power  at  Delhi.  ! 

Babar's  autobiography  (Babarnamah)  originally  writ- 
ten in  Turki  is  a  book  of  surpassing  interest.  Itjaithf  ftlly 
describes  the  worlds  in  whlclTBabar  lived  and 

—  -.  -         -  -  •  .    -  „    „_  "—  ^—  .».  «. 

K     >  o 

a  D  a  r     B 

—  ~  —      -.  -„  ^  -  -•  -  ,  .  «.,  ^  ^ 

autobio  g  r  a-      the  persons  with  whom  he  came  in  contact. 
phy  *  As^wiT  n£c^  of  his 

intejligent  mind 

"grasping  military  situations  with  the  acuteness  of  a 
•consummate  general.  No  eastern  prince  has  written 

VV!'"\^"*'"PI«C  *"""-"«v  p****<****>J"''^*~*-~^   """•*~*w  -1''        ^*>-—  u-n  ____ 

such  a  vivid,  interesting  anqver'acipus  account  ;  of  his  li&ajis 
BSgar"  He  describes  his  own  shortcomings  with  a  candour 
whicB  greatly  impresses  us.  His  style  is  not  pompous 
•or  ornate  like  that  of  the  Persian  writers.  It  is  simple, 
clear  and  fpmbl<3  and  its  effect  is  considerably  enhanced 

Jby  the  utter  lack  of  cant  and  hypocrisy,, 

s'  •*-„       -  ""-  "*~  -  -       *" 

1  King,  Memoirs  I,  pp.  242—4.  These  figures  are  unreliable  though 
Babar  says  (II,  p.  425)  he  has  verified  them.  The  detailed  statement  of 
Babar's  revenue,  though  not  given  in  the  Persian  version  of  his 
Memoirs,  is  found  in  the  Turki  original  and  is  reproduced  in  the  French 
edition.  King  has  given  an  English  translation  of  it  in  his  edition  of  the 
Memoirs.  Vol.  II,  pp.  244-45. 


Babar  had  a  great  regard  for  truth  for  he  writes :  '  I 
do  not  write  this  in  order  to  make  complaint ;  I  have  written 
the  plain  truth.  I  do  not  set  down  these  matters  in  order 
to  make  known  my  deserts ;  I  have  set  down  exactly  what 
happened.  In  this  history  I  have  held  firmly  to  it  that  the 
truth  should  be  reached  in  any  matter,  and  that  every 
act  should  be  recorded  precisely  as  it  occurred. '  Itjs  thia 
whichhasjnade  ihe Jfemoj^  a  tjiii^^ 
4C^S§^95l^PH^Jt_in  his  own  felicitous  languageTthe 
pom|^  dynasty  are,  gpne^  but  tEe 

record  oT^Jife-the  littera  scripta  th^t^ra^cfis^f 
tSn^remains  unaltered  and  imperishable          — -— —- 

Hie  Merftoirs  were  *  translated^  by  Humayun  from  an 
original  in  Babar's  own  handwriting  in  1553  and  were 
afterwards  translated  into  Persian  by  Abdur  Rahim  Khan- 
i-Khanan  in  the  time  of  Akbar  in  1590.  The  Persian 
translation  is  faithful  and  accurate,  and  the  variations  that 
occur  are  of  idiom  and  not  of  detail  Several  translations 
of  the  Memoirs  have  appeared  in  European  languages  in 
modern  times. 

Babar  is  one  of  the  ^  most  interestjjag^f^uyr^ 
whole  rangej>f  mediaeval  history!  "As  a  prince,  warrior! 
~~~"^  and  scholar  he  is  fit  to  take  rank  with  the 
of Babaraht7  greatest  rulers  of  mediaeval  times.  The 
trials  and  adventures  of  his  early  life  had 
strengthened  every  fibre  of  his  bodily;  frame  and  had 
developed  in  him  the  quaiities  of  patience^  endurance, 
courage  and  self-reliance^  XcTversTty"  is  a  true  school  of 
greatness,  and  Babar  had  fully  profited  by  the  good  and 
bad  chances  of  life He  loved  game  and  hunting  expedi- 
tions, and  often  in  the  coldest  winter  he  rode  long  dis- 
tances in  pursuit  of  wild  animals,  and  fully  enjoyed  hia 


excursions  with  his  comrades.    So  great  was  his  physical 

strength  that  with  one  man  under  each  arm_  he  could  run 

along    the    rampart    without  ~~tlie   least    inconvenience 

and  risk.     He  wasTon3T6f  river  bath,  and  was  once  seen 

plunging  recklessly  into  an  ice-bound  stream  with  tem- 

perature below  zero.     He  was  gifted  by  nature  with  an 

extraordinary  amount  of  energy,  self-confidence,  and  the 

power  to  instil  hope  anTenthusiasm  into  the  hearts  of  his 

men,  when  they  failed  or  faltered  before  a  formidable  foe. 

He  loved  field  sports  and  was  a  skilful  swordsman  and 

archer.    The  elasticity  of  his  mind  enabled   him  to  pass 

from  the  wine  cup  to  the  blockade  of  a  fortress  with  the 

greatest  alacrity  and  cheerfulness     His  methods  of  war 

were  those  that  had  been  prevalent  in  Central  Asia  among 

the  Mongols  and  Turks,  but  he  had  brought  about  altera- 

tions in  them,  and  had  so  perfected  his  artillery  branch 

that  he  was  hard  to  beat  in  battle.    His  military  discipline 

was  severe,  *and  though  .at  times  he  burst  into  ferocity  he 

was  generally  humane  and  kind-hearted.  jHe  did   not 

allow  his  soldiers  to  devastate  the  conquered  ^countries 

and  severely  punished 

He  ^was  ±he  Jhappy  compound^)?  a^g^eat^  prince  and  a 
good^man.   His  temper  was  frank,  jovial,  and  buoyaniFand^ 
it  retained  its  buoyancy  to  the  end  of  his  life.    No  distress 
or  misfortune  could  disturb  its  equanimity  and  whether  on 
the  field  of  battle  or  on  the  edge  of  a  precipice  in  the  hilly 
country  hgjnoved  forward  with  a  merry  heart.  He  strictly 
sred  the  sanctity  of  the   plighted  wordf  and  even  in' 
ling  with  his  enemies  he  never  had  recourse  to  treachery 
loul  play*    He  hated  ingratitude  and  expected  all  men 
to  stand  by  their  friends  in  time  of  need  and  to  keep  their 


He  treated  his  enemies  with  a  magnanimity   rare> 

>*^^~^^^L**^~~-~-~^"'^^f**^~-  >.  ' — -  -        *  -      °-       .  '-^    **   -s^/,fc  ,    - 

among  his  ^contejg^oranes^  in  Central  ^.Asia.  He  was 
Mfid'^Tiis  brothers  and  wHen  urged  to  get  rid  of 
his  brother  Jahangir  by  one  of  his  advisers  he  replied  : 
'  Urge  it  as  he  would,  I  did  not  accept  his  suggestion, 
because  it  is  against  my  nature  to  do  an  injury  to  my 
brethren,  older  or  younger,  or  to  any  kinsmen  so  ever, 
even  when  something  untoward  has  happened.'  HJJJ 
loyalty  towards  W^Jkinsmen^and ,  |riends  was  conspj- 
cuousT  fie  treated  his  Chaghtai  kinsmen  with  great 
kincfness,  and  Mirza  Haidar  Daghlat  effusively  speaks  o£ 
thejgenerous  treatment  which  Jie^  received  at  his  hands. 
The  hardships  of  life  had  perhaps  convinced  him  of  the 
necessity  of  affection  and  of  nurturing  kindly  sentiments 
wTthiiT  Kim.  "Prom  his  own v  experience  heJbad  learnt 
tlrtf~yatue~of  kindness^aiid  fidelity,  and  recognised  the 
importance  of  mutual  good-will  in  social  welfare.  He 
writes  of  his  father,  mother,  grandmothers,  and  sisters 
in  terms  of  affection,  and  weeps  for  days  together  for  a 
playmate  of  his  earlier  days.  It  is  this  humaixJt£ait.j3a 

W»"  —tM^^"-**^  ..-r*~'    *^*%w--»-"-*^  ™        l""*">' 

rwe^mong^tlje^Mongols  and  Turfe^wmch,  jn^keg^abar's 
personality  a  subject  of^ absorbing  interest 
1  A  word  might  Be^saidliBout  BaBa?sattitude  towards 
the  three  common  things  in  which  the  Muslim  world  of 
gaiety  and  fashion  took  delight —wine,  women,  and  song,1 
Wine-drinking  was  a  universal  practice  in  Babar's  day 
and  the  Memoirs  speak  with  perfect  frankness  of  Babar's 
own  indulgence  in  liquor.  But  even  in  drink  he  observed 
decorum  and  asked  his  followers  '  to  carry  their  liquor 
like  gentlemen.  '  When  they  became  senseless  under  the 
influence  of  liquor  and  *  foul-mouthed  and  idiotic/  he 
•disliked  them  and  disapproved  of  their  conduct.  We  find 


him  at  these  drinking  parties  a  strange,  happy  figure. 
jfle  drinks  copiously  but  never  neglects  his  business  and 
'is  seen  at  a  bound  in  his  saddle  when  his  services  are 
needed  in  a  raid  or  campaign.  Several  times  he  resolved 
to  abstain  from  liquor,  but  such  vows  were  more  honour- 
*ed  in  the  breach  than  in  the  observance.  He  would  keep 
the  vow  for  two  or  three  days  amTtlien  break  it  at  the 
sight  of  the  crystal  waters  of  a  limpid  stream  or  a  moun- 
tain spring.  It  was  at  Sikri  when  he  found  himself 
against  the  Rajput  odds  that  he  made  a  vigorous  effort 
of  will  to  give  up  wine  and  asked  his  friends  and  follow- 
ers to  do  likewise.  This  was  his  final  renunciation.  Even 
as  a  drunkard  Babar  is  i  fascinating  ri 

arid  illustrious  drinkers'    who  regarded    wine    as    the 

ly  acknowledged  his  debt  to  his  grandmother 
and  showed  much  filial  devotion  towards  his  parents, 
but  like  Napoleon  Bonaparte  he  held  in  contempt  those 
who  allowed  women  to  interfere  in  political  affairs  or  in- 
volved themselves  in  feminine  mtrigoes.  He  disliked 
termagant  wbmerT  anil  favoured  the  repression^  of 

feminine  loquacity. 

TheT  Mongols  and  Turks  of  the  fifteenth  century 
were  not  very  particular  about  their  morals.  Pederasty  was 
a  common  vice  among  the  Turks  and  Babar  speaks  oi  the 
practice  with  his  usual  frankness.  It  was  a  fashion  to 

1  About  such  women  be  endorsed  the  view  expressed  in 
words  : 

"  A  bad  wife  in  a  good   man's  house 

Even  in  this  world,  makes   a  hell  on  earth." 

"May  the  Almighty  remove  such  a  visitation  from  every  good  Mus- 
lim ;  and  God  grant  that  such  a  thing  as  an  ill-tempered,  cross-grained 
e  be  not  left  in  the  world." 

Kin*.  Memoirs.  I.    D.  206. 


"keep  concubine/  and  prostitutes,  but  Babar *s  life  was  so' 
occupied  in  sieges  and  battles  that  he  had  no  timejto 
enjoy  himself  like  other  eastern  rulers.  The  exigencies 
-of  the  situation  at  any  rate  in  Hindustan  enforced  abs- 
tinence  from  sensual  pleasures,  and  Babar  always  exer- 
-cised  self-restraint  when  it  was  necessary  to  do  so.  He 
was  fond  of  music  both  vocal  and  instrumental,  and  him- 
self composed  songs,liome of  w^iciymyg^come  down  to  us. 

Babar  was  an  orthodox  SunnTiFhis  religious  viewg,  but 
his  culture  saved  him  from  beingj.  zealot  or  a  fanatic  like 
Mahmud  of  GhazKTorlTruthless  conqueror  like  his  great 
ancestor  Timur,  the  Lame.  He  looked  upon  Shias  as  'rank 
heretics'  and  the  '  followers  of  an  evil  belief  opposed  to 
the  pure  faith.'  He  writes  of  the  Hindus  with  contempt 
and  recognises  Jihad  as  a  sacred  duty.  In  describing 
Rana  Sanga's  military  resources  and  his  gallantry  in  the 
field  of  battle  he  uses  language  which  does  little  credit 
to  his  culture,  but  that  was  the  usual  practice  of  the  age. 
He  ordered  towers  of  '  pagan  skulls  '  to  be  built  both  at 
Sikri  and  Chanderi  and  showed  no  quarter  to  the  idolaters 
who  opposed  him.  But  there  was  no  systematic  persecu- 
tion of  the  Hindus  during  his  reign  and  he  never 
punished  men  merely  on  grounds  of  religion.  Himself  a 
great  believer  in  Allah  he  ascribed  all  His  success  to  Hia 
goodness  and  mercy  and  regarded  sovereignty  as  a  gift 
from  Hii£-  In  the  heat  of  battle  he  looked  to  God  for 
help  for  all  his  battles  were  fought  in  His  cause.  His 
belief  in  the  efficacy  of  prayer  was  immense  as  is  illus- 
trated by  the  manner  in  which  he  sacrificed  himself  to 
save  the  life  of  his  son. 

He  wflg  ji^pasgionate  lover  of  nature  wh&_found  jfre 
greatest  pleasure  m  the  streams^  "meaaows  andj>asture 


lands  of  his  native  country.  Springs,  lakes,  plants,. 
flowers  and  fruits—  all  had  their  charm  for  him,  so  much: 
so  indeed,  that  even  when  he  was  in  Hindustan  he- 
never  forgot  the  melons  of  Fargkana,  thejgape&_And 
pomegranates  Of  Kabul  and  the  lands  beyond  the  Oxus. 
Itwaslllly  luvti  61  Rftture  which  called  into  play~"his. 
poetic  powers.  He  possessed  a  fine  intellect  and  a  rich 
imagination  which  were  utilised  to  the  best  advantage 
in  depicting  the  scenes  amidst  which  he  moved  and 
in  portraying  the  persons  whom  he  knew. 
was  a  poet  of  nomeajx^jorder.  He  had 

^         and  his  Diwan  or  collection 

of  Turki  poems  is  regarded  as  a  work  of  considerable 
merit..  He  wrote  in  a  pure  and  unaffected  style  and 
composed  odes  and  songs  with  great  facility.  He  knew 
the  sacred  function  of  poetry,  and  writes  that  it  would  be 
a  pity  if  the  tongue  is  wasted  on  satirical  or  frivolous 
poems.  HejilwaYg  adhgredjp  the  viewJJiaLthe_foniniage 

vehicle  of  noble  thought    His 

mastery  over  prose  was  equally  remarkableT^He  could 
write  with  ease  both  in  Turin  and  Persian,  and  like  all 
cultured  men  of  the  east  practised  calligraphy.  He  was 
an  adept  in  describing  countries,  their  climate  and  peculiar 
geographical  features,  and  his  fastidiousness  in  valuing 
the  compositions  of  others  would  call  forth  the  blushes 
of  a  tutor  in  a  modern  university.  On  one  occasion  he 
reprimanded  Humayun  for  writing  his  letters  carelessly 
and  advised  him  to  cultivate  a  plain  and  unaffected 
style.  The  most  remarkable  of  his  prose  work  is  the 
Memoirs  of  his  own  lire,  whicli  will  remain  for  all  time 
a  first-rate  authority  on  the  history  of  Bazar's  reign  and 
a  'source  of  inspiration  to  those  wno  wisn  to  carve  out 



a  career  for  themselves  notwithstanding    adverse    cir- 

Babar    was    unquestionably    superior   to  the  other 

"TirisTrueT  he  was  sometimes 

le  of  human  life,  but  such  occasions 
were  few  and  far  between.  As  a  rule  he  never  slew 
men  wantonly.  Butjwhat  endears  him  to  us,  in  spite  of 
the  lapse  of  centunesHs  his  cfeei 

nobility  of  his 

i*-*y~*j  ^-*t:  ^*~  j.i   -  — : —    •H>.v^"^^r^v"7^^^r-^ 

Indeed,  there  are  few  princes  in  Asiatic  history  who  can 

be  ranked  higher  than  Babar  in  genius  and  accomplish- 


yHumayun  ascended  the  throne  at  Agra  on  the  29th 
December,  1530,  in  the  midst  of  great  public  rejoicings. 
He  had  been  charged  by  Babar  on  his  death- 
bed  to  treat  his  brothers  with  affection  and 
Humayun  acted  on  this  advice  to  his  great 
detriment.  Most  of  his  troubles  and  misfortunes  sprang 
from  his  brothers,  and  his  own  treatment  was  responsible 
for  their  sinister  designs.  The  first  thing  which  he  did 
after  the  fashion  of  the  Timurids  was  to  divide  his  father 's 
dominions  among  members  of  the  blood  royal.  Kamran 
was  confirmed  in  his  possession  of  Kabul  and  Qandhar  ; 
fe>amphal  was  given  to  Mirza  Askari,  and  Alwar  and 

Mewat  were  allotted  to  Mirza  Hindal,  while  Badakhshan 
was  entrusted  to  the  charge  of  his  cousin  Sulaiman  Mirza. 
The  leading  nobles  and  military  leaders  were  conciliated 
by  means  of  large  gifts  and  rewards. 

Soon  after  his  accession  Humayun  discovered  that  the 
throne  of  Delhi  was  not  a  bed  of  roses.  The  difficulties 
which  surrounded  the  new  king  were  of  no  mean  order. 
There  was  no  law  of  primogeniture  among  the  Muslims, 
and  every  prince  of  the  royal  house  aspired  to  dominion. 
Often  the  claims  of  rival  aspirants  were  settled  by  an 
appeal  to  the  sword.  The  large  gifts,  granted  to  princes, 
stimulated  their  political  ambitions  and  furnished  them 
with  the  sinews  of  war  which  they  freely  employed  against 
their  opponents.  The  loyalty  of  the  army  could  not  always 



be  relied  upon.  It  was  a  heterogeneous  mass  of  men  be- 
longing to  various  nationalities.  The  Chaghtai,  the  Uzbeg, 
the  Mughal,  the  Persian  and  Afghan  soldiers  fought  well, 
but  they  were  too  pro^e  to  quarrel  amongst  themselves, 
and  their  counsels  were  almost  always  characterised  by  a 
woeful  lack  of  unanimity.  They  plotted  and  intrigued  to 
push  forward  their  own  men  and  frequently  sacrificed  the 
interests  of  the  whole  for  the  interests  of  the  part.  There 
were  powerful  Khans  at  court  who  did  not  consider  the 
acquisition  of  a  kingdom  or  empire  beyond  the  scope  of 
their  ambitions.  The  intrigues  of  these  men  were  bound 
to  embarrass  any  ruler,  however  capable  or  vigilant. 

There  were  other  difficulties.  Babar  had  no  time  to 
consolidate  his  possessions,  and  the  majority  of  his  subjects 
who  were  Hindus  looked  upon  their  conquerors  as  success- 
ful barbarians.  In  the  East  the  Afghans  were  fomenting 
strife,  and  Mahmud  Lodi  was  wandering  in  Bihar  trying 
to  rally  to  his  side  the  Afghan  nobles  who  were  anxious 
to  regain  their  lost  power.  Sher  Khan  had  already 
entered  upon  a  military  career  of  great  promise  and  was 
making  efforts  to  organize  the  Afghans  into  a  nation.  In 
Gujarat  Bahadur  Shah  had  greatly  increased  his  po^er  and 
was  maturing  his  plans  for  the  conquest  of  Rajputana.  He 
possessed  enormous  wealth  which  afterwards  enabled  him 
to  finance  the  anti-Mughal  movement  started  in  Bihar 
and  Bengal  by  the  great  Afghan  who  finally  succeeded  in 
expelling  Humayun  from  Hindustan. 

At  the  time  of  Babar's  death  Kamran  was  in  Kabul. 

Having  entrusted  his  territories  to  the  care  of  Askari,  he 

marched  towards  Hindustan  at  the  head 

£  Kamrln!  °  *    of  a  considerable  force  and  gave  out  that  he 

was  coming  to  congratulate  his  brother  on 


the  assumption  of  royal  dignity.  Humayun  who  knew 
him  too  well  to  be  deceived  by  these  effusive  expressions 
of  loyalty  sent  an  envoy  in  advance  to  inform  him  that 
he  had  already  decided  to  add  Peshawar  and  Lamghan 
to  the  fief  of  Kabul.  But  Kamran  was  not  satisfied 
with  this  offer  and  marched  down  to  the  Indus.  He 
captured  Lahore  and  brought  the  whole  of  the  Punjab 
under  his  sway.  Humayun  who  was  not  prepared  for 
war  acquiesced  in  this  forcible  seizure,  and  allowed  him  to 
enjoy  the  kingdom  of  Kabul,  Qandhar  and  the  Punjab. 
It  was  a  mistake  on  Humayun' s  part  to  make  these 
concessions  because  they  erected  a  barrier  between  him 
and  the  lands  beyond  the  Afghan  hills  Kamran  could 
henceforward,  as  Professor  Rushbrook- Williams  observes, 
cut  the  taproot  of  Humayun's  military  power  by 
merely  stopping  where  he  was.  Besides,  the  cession 
of  Hisar  Firoza  was  a  blunder  for  it  gave  Kamran 
command  of  the  new  military  road  which  ran  from  Delhi 
to  Qandhar. 

One  of  the  most  formidable  enemies  of  Humayun  was 
Bahadur  Shah  of  Gujarat.  He  was  making  vigorous  efforts 
Bahadur  to  in<*ease  his  power.  Early  in  ^531  he 
Shah  ofGuja-  invaded  Malwa  along  with  the  Rana  of 
Mewar  on  the  ground  that  the  ruler  of  that 
country  had  given  shelter  to  his  brother,  Chand  Khan,  a 
rival  claimant  to  the  throne  of  Gujarat.  Malwa  was  con- 
quered and  the  Sultan  was  sent  as  a  prisoner  to  Cham1- 
panir.  The  kings  of  Khandesh,  Ahmadnagar  and  Berar 
were  humbled  by  him  and  made  to  acknowledge  his 
supremacy.  The  Portuguese  also  feared  his  growing 
power  and  paid  homage  to  him.  With  great  resources  at 
his  command,  Bahadur  turned  against  the  Rana  of  Chittor 


ivho  was  compelled  to  agree  to  terms  which  were '  ruinous 
alike  to  his  pride  and  his  pocket. ' 

Emboldened  by  this  success  Bahadur  began  to  prepare 
himself  for  bigger  enterprise.  The  Afghan  chiefs  like 
Alam  Khan,  the  uncle  of  Ibrahim  Lodi,  who  had  sought 
refuge  with  him,  solicited  his  aid  in  driving  the  Chaghtais 
out  of  India.  Equally  dangerous  were  the  intrigues  of 
the  Mughal  nobles  who  had  fled  to  his  court  and  who 
confirmed  the  view  that  the  conquest  ,of  Hindustan  could 
be  easily  accomplished.  Humayun  wrote  to  Bahadur  to 
dismiss  the  fugitives  but  he  refused  to  do  so.  This  was 
the  immediate  cause  of  war. 

Humayun  marched  against  the  nobles  of  Gujarat  and 
defeated  them.  Bahadur  hurried  back  to  the  scene  of 
action  from  Chittor  on  hearing  this  news  but  he  was 
defeated  and  the  Mughals  captured  immense  booty.  He 
fled  to  Champanir  but  Humayun  followed  close  upon  his 
heels  with  a  powerful  force.  Bahadur  then  left  for  Diu 
without  offering  any  resistance ,  and  opened  negotiations 
with  the  Portuguese. 

Humayun  meanwhile  laid  siege  to  the  fort  of  Cham- 
panir and  captured  it  after  four  months'  blockade.  But 
the  Mughals  were  so  elated  with  success  that  they  wasted 
their  time  in  feasting  and  merriment.  Bahadur  profited 
by  this  supine^  inaction  of  his  enemies  and  at  once  sent 
his  officer  Imad-ul-mulk  who  occupied  Ahmadabad  and 
collected  a  large  army  to  fight  for  his  master.  The 
Portuguese  governor  also  promised  aid  in  return  for  the 
permission  which  he  had  given  to  fortify  his  settlement. 

This  roused  Humayun  from  his  lethargy.  He  marched 
.against  Imad-ul-mulk  and  defeated  him.  The  country 
was  made  over  to  his  brother  Mirza  Askari  who  proved 


an  incapable  and  tactless  governor.  He  quarrelled  with  his 
own  officers  and  did  nothing  to  effect  a  peaceful  settlement 
of  the  country.  Bahadur  took  advantage  of  these  dis- 
sensions in  the  enemy's  camp  and  advanced  towards 
Ahmadabad.  The  Mughal  general  surrendered  Champanir 
into  his  hands,  and  gradually  the  whole  country  came  into 
his  hands  but  he  did  not  live  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  his 
victory.  He  was  invited  by  the  Portuguese  governor  to  a 
conference  but  in  a  scuffle  which  ensued  between, 
the  Portuguese  and  his  men  Bahadur  who  suspected 
treachery  fell  into  the  sea  and  was  drowned  in  1537. 
Humayun  who  was  at  Mandu  withdrew  to  Agra,  and  as 
soon  as  he  did  so  Malwa  was  also  lost. 

Thus  the  emperor's  own  lethargy  and  indecisioa 
ruined  his  prestige  in  the  north.  The  Afghans  slowly 
increased  their  strength,  and  with  the  help  of  their  leader 
Sher  Khan  began  to  prepare  themselves  fora  trial  of 
strength  with  the  Mughals. 

/*Y  The  original  name  of  Sher  Shah  was  Farid.  His 
father  Hasan  was  a  Jagirdar  of  Sasram  in  Bihar.  The 
"^  exact  date  of  his  birtlTis  not  known,  but  it 
ShaiT  *s  Pr°bable  that  he  was  born  some  time 
about  the  year  1486A.D.  In  his  early  boy- 
Farid  was  neglected  by  his  father  who  was  $  alava 
to  his  youngest  wife  and  showed  a  preference  to  his  sons 
I>y  the  latter.  But  this  petticoat  influence  proved  a  bless- 
ing in  disguise.  Disgusted  by  the  conduct  of  his  step- 
mother and  infatuated  father,  Farid  left  his  home  and 
went  to  Jaunpur  where  he  applied  himself  to  the  study  of 
letters.  Being  a  precocious  lad,  he  devoted  himself  to  the 
study  of  Arabic  and  Persian  with  great  zeal,  and  soon 
acquired  a  mastery  over  these  two  languages.  He- 


committed  to  memory  the  Gulistan,  Bostan  and  Sikandar- 
namahand  enriched  his  wonderfully  quick  mind  with 
vast  stores  of  polite  learning.  He  studied  literature 
and  history  and  took  a  keen  delight  in  reading  of  the 
noble  deeds  and  virtues  of  great  rulers  in  the  past. 
Impressed  by  Farid  's  talents  his  father's  patron  Jamal 
Khan,  the  governor  of  BiharT  asked  him  to  behave 

fU^^^fft^^  ••••  ......       JL[        111         i  __     -  _-  -  -«—*• 

better  towards  his  son  who  held  out  ample  promise  of 
future  greatness. 

Hasan  was  reconciled,  and  he  entrusted  his  jagir  to 
his  ambitious  son.  Farid  managed  the  jagir  well,  but  the 
jealousy  of  his  step-mother  again  drove  him  into  voluntary 
He  took  service  under  Bahar  Khan,  son  of  Darya 

Khan  Lohani,  governor  of  Bihar,  who  was  much  impressed 
by  his  talents.  On  one  occasion  when  Bahar  went  out  on 
a  hunting  expedition  Farid  slew  a  tiger  and  in  recognition 
of  this  brave  deed  his  master  gave  him  the  title  of  Sher 
Khan.  But  differences  having  arisen  soon  afterwards  be- 
tween him  and  Farid,  the  latter  resigned  his  service  and 
went  to  Agra  where  he  was  introduced  to  Babar  by  one  of 
his  leading  nobles.  When  Babar  undertook  the  subjugation 
of  the  Afghans  in  the  east,  Sher  Khan  rendered  him  great 
assistance  and  received  in  return  his  father's  jagir. 

Babar  had  restored  Jalal  Khan,  son  of  Bahar  Khan,  to 
his  father's  possessions  after  the  death  of  the  latter,  but 
he  was  a  minor  and  his  affairs  were  managed  by  Sher 
Khan.  When  Jalal  came  of  age  he  wished  to  free  himself 
from  the  galling  tutelage  of  the  powerful  Afghan  chief 
who  held  him  in  leading  strings.  He  sought  the  help  of 
the  ruler  of  Bengal  in  accomplishing  his  object  but  all  hia 
efforts  failed.  Sher  Khan  defeated  the  forces  of  the  two 
allies  and  Bihar  easily  came  into  his  hands. 


Sher  Khan  was  not.tlie^man  to  rest^gnjhi^^  He 
now  turned  his  attention  towarcls  Bengal.  He  dashed 
through  the  country  and  easily  overpowered  the  resistance 
offered  by  the  Bengal  troops  so  that  by  the  end  of  February 
1536,  he  appeared  before  the  walls  of  Gaur.  Mahmud, 
the  king  of  Bengal,  offered  no  resistance  and  bribed  Sher 
Khan  to  retire.  Next  year  Sher  Khan  again  marched 
towards  Gaur,  but  the  Bengalis  showed  little  courage,  and 
the  Afghans  entered  the  city  in  triumph.  When  Huma- 
yun  heard  of  Sher  Khan's  success  in  Bengal,  he  advanced 
towards  Gaur,  but  the  wily  Afghan  retreated  towards 
Bihar  and  eluded  his  pursuers.  The  Mughals  captured 
Gaur  and  re-named  it  Jannatabad.  Sher  Khan  tried  tx> 
compensate  himself  for  this  loss  by  seizing  imperial  terri- 
tories in  Bihar  and  Jaunpur  and  plundered  the  country 
as  far  as  Kanauj. 

As  soon  as  Humayun  heard  of  Sher  Khan's  activities 
in  Bihar  and  Jaunpur,  he  left  Gaur  and  marching  hastily 
along  the  bank  of  the  Ganges  crossed  near  Munghir.  He 
was  confronted  with  a  difficult  situation.  Attempts  were 
made  to  make  peace  with  Sher  Khan  but  in  vain.  The 
Afghans  rallied  round  their  leader  in  large  numbers  and 
defeated  the  Mughals  at  Chausa.  The  emperor  fought 
with  great  gallantry  but  his  example  produced  no  effect 
on  his  followers.  At  last  he  plunged  into  the  river  on 
horseback  and  was  about  to  be  drowned  when  he  was 
saved  by  a  water-carrier,  Nizam.  r  whom  he  afterwards 
allowed  to  sit  on  the  throne  for  two  days,  and  asked  the 
nobles  to  make  obeisance  to  him. 

The  battle  of  Chausa  was  a  clear  advantage  to  Sher 
Khan^  He  now  took  the  title  of  SKer  Shah  and  srdegal 
the  coinsjtojse  jstruckjandjfche  Khqtba  to  bq  read  in  hia 


•own  name.  All  thought  of  acknowledging  the  emperor's 
-suzerainty  now  vanished  from  his  mind  and  in  order  to 
legalise  his  assumption  of  the  royal  title  he  went  through 
all  the  formalities  of  kingship. 

Humayun  was  now  convinced  of  Sher  Shah's  formid- 
able power.    He  saw  clearly  that  success  against  him  was 

impossible  without  unity  of  plan  and  purpose. 

Battle       of     He  tried  his  best  to  win  his  brothers  to  his 

i540.aUJ'      ay     side  but  they  were  so  faithless  that  they  not 

only  refused  him  co-operation  but  positively 

hampered  him  in  his  preparations.  Encouraged  by  the 
dissensions  ol  the  brothers,  Sher  i^liah  advanced  to  the 
bank  of  the  Ganges  and  crossed  it  with  his  forces.  Huma- 
yun also  led  his  army  to  the  Ganges  near  Kanauj  and 
encamped  opposite  to  Sher  Shah.  The  two  armies,  the 
strength  of  which  is  estimated  by  Mirza  Haider,  the  author 
of  the  Tarikh-i-Rashidi,  at  200,000  men  remained  in  this 
position  for  one  month.  But  desertions  in  the  imperial 
army  added  to  the  anxiety  of  Humayun,  and  he  decided  to 
risk  a  battle  rather  than  allow  the  army  to  be  destroyed 
without  fighting.  The  Mughals  employed  their  usual 
tactics  but  they  were  severely  beaten  by  the  Afghans. 
Mirza  Haider  who  took  part  in  the  campaign  writes  : 
"  .  .  .  .  Sher  Khan  gained  a  victory,  while  the  Chaghtais 
were  defeated  in  the  battlefield,  where  not  a  man  either 
friend  or  foe  was  wounded.  Not  a  gun  was  fired  and  the 
chariots  (Gardun)  were  useless." 

Now  this  statement  of  Mirza  Haider  may  be  exag- 
gerated, but  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  battle  was  not  half 
so  bloody  as  the  battles  of  Panipat  and  Kanwah.  The 
imperialists  were  driven  into  the  river,  and  the  Afghans 
inflicted  heavy  losses  upon  them  from  behind.  The 


Mughals  failed  disastrously  to  retrieve  their  position  and 

Humayun  was  reduced  to  the  position  of  a  helpless  fugitive. 

During  his  pursuit  of  the  emperor  in  the  'Punjab  Sher 

Shah  turned  his  attention  to  the  Gakkar  country,  a  moun- 

tainous region  between  the  upper  courses  of 

°*ertS2n<'     the  rivers  Indus  and  Jhelum.    The  occupa- 

queets  of  Sher 

Shah.  tion  of  this  tract  of  land  was  highly  impor- 

tant for  strategic  reasons.  An  invader  from 
the  north-west  could  easily  pass  through  this  country  and 
establish  himself  in  the  Punjab.  Sher  Shah's  fears  were 
well-founded,  for  Kamran  and  Mirza  Haider,  two  of  his 
important  enemies,—  who  held  Kabul  and  Kashmir  respec- 
tively, might  combine  at  any  time  and  jeopardise  his  safety. 
Sher  Shah  ravaged  the  country,  but  he  was  suddenly 
called  away  by  the  rebellion  of  the  governor  of  Bengal. 
He  left  his  able  generals  behind  with  50,000  men  to 
subdue  the  country  of  the  Gakkars. 

Malwa,  Raisin,  and  Sindh  were  conquered  next  and 
then  Sher  Shah  turned  against  Maldeva  of  Jodhpur  .  It  was- 
impossible  for  him  to  tolerate  the  existence  of  a  powerful 
chieftain  whose  kingdom  was  situated  not  far  from  the 
capital.  He  marched  towards  Marwar  at  the  head  of  a  large 
army  and  pushed  on  to  Mairta  42  miles  west  of  Ajmer. 
'  The  Rajputs  had  gathered  in  large  nurnhpr^  and  ^re  an 
well  organized  tJnttJSker  •  Shah  began  to  feel  doubts. 
about  his  success  in  the  campaign.    Hefaad  recourgfcto 


~~  '  He  caused  letters  to  be  forged  in  the  name  of  Maldeva's. 
nobles  to  the  effect  :  '  Let  not  the  King  permit  any  anxiety 
or  doubt  to  find  its  way  to  his  heart.  During  the  battle  we 
will  seize  Maldeva  and  bring  him  to  you.  '  '  Having 

1  Elliot,  IV,  p.  406. 


•enclosed  these  letters  in  a  kharita  (a  silken  bag)  he  gave  it 
to  a  certain  person  and  directed  him  to  drop  it  near  the  tent 
of  the  vakil  of  Maldeva.  When  the  contents  of  these 
letters  became  known  to  him  he  suspected  treachery  on  the 
part  of  his  nobles.  He  forthwith  decided  to  retreat  in  spite 
of  their  assurances  that  their  loyalty  was  as  firm  as  a  rock. 
But  Maldeva  who  was  seized  with  panic  did  not  listen  to 
their  protestations.  The  pride  of  the  Rajputs  was  touched 
to  the  quick  and  some  of  his  chiefs  felt  this  stain  on  their 
honour  to  be  unbearable.  With  desperate  courage  they 
fell  upon  the  enemy  and  according  to  Abbas  *  displayed 
exceeding  valour. '  A  deadly  encounter  followed  (March 
J544)  and  though  the  noble  band  perished,  the  Afghans 
were  slain  in  large  numbers.  The  valour  of  the  Rajputs 
deeply  impressed  Sher  Shah  who  was  heard  to  say,  '  I 
had  nearly  lost  the  empire  of  Hindustan  for  a  handful  o? 
Bajra  (millet!.' 

After  this  victory  Sher  Shah  captured  Mount  Abp 
and  from  there  proceeded  against  Marwar.  Maldeva  fled 
from  Jodhpur  and  retired  to  the  fort  of  Siwana  whither 
he  was  not  followed  by  the  Afghans.  The  fort  of  Chittor 
was  captured  soon  afterwards  and  was  entrusted  to  an 
Afghan  nobleman.  In  this  way  Sher  Shah  succeeded  in 
establishing  his  hold  on  Rajputana. 

The  last  expedition  in  which  Sher  Shah  took  part 
was  against  the  Raja  of  Kalanjar.  The  Rajputs  rolled 
down  stones  upon  the  besiegers  from  the  parapet  of 
the  fortress  and  made  their  task  exceedingly  difficult. 
The  siege  was  pushed  on  but  when  victory  was  in  sight, 
Sher  Shah  was  suddenly  burnt  by  an  explosion  of  gun- 
powder, ^tie  fort  was  captured  and  the  Afghans  entered 
it  in  triumph.  Sher  Shah's  condition  grew  worse  and 


he  died  on  May  22,   1545,  with  the  laurels  of  yjctorv  on, 
his  brojy. 

The  government  of  Sher  Shah,  though  autocratic  was- 
vigorous  and  enlightened.  He  was  not  content  merely  with 
the  establishment  of  peace  and  order,  but 
Sh^r  tur8hah°sf  reconstructed  the  machinery  of  administra- 
despotism.  tion.  In  spite  of  the  limitations  which  ham- 
pered a  sixteenth  century  king  in  India  he 
brought  to  bear  upon  his  task  the  intelligence,  the  ability, 
the  devotion  of  the  enlightened  despots  of  the  eighteenth 
century  in  Europe.  He  did  not  listen  to  the  advice  of  the 
Ulama  and  adopted  a  policy  of  religious  toleration  towards- 
the  Hindus.  He  looked  into  the  pettiest  details  of  adminis- 
tration and  steadily  fixed  his  eye  on  the  public  weal.  He 
kept  a  vigilant  watch  on  his  walls,  iqtadars  andrcai&s  and 
freely  punished  them  when  they  transgressed  his  rules. 
The  Afghans  fully  appreciated  his  creative  genius  and 
looked  upon  him  as  a  saviour  of  their  race.  It  was  this 
sense  of  thoughtful  gratitude  fortified  and  developed  by 
his  comprehensive  and  liberal  administrative  reforms 
which  led  them  to  render  u$to  him  their  sincere  homage 
and  goodwill. 

The  whole  empire, was  jJJHded  into  47  divisions  each  of 
which  comprised  a  large  number  of  par g anas.    Abbas 
writes  that  there  were  113,000  parganas,  but  he 
has  Probably  made  a  confusion  between  the 
parganas  and  villages.  This  figure  represents- 
the  number  of  villages  in  the  empire  and  not  ofparganaa, 
which  could  not  have  been  so  many   at  the  time.    Each 
pargana  had  a  shiqdar,  an  aminf  a  treasurer,  a  munsif,  a 
Hindi  writer  and  a  Persian  writer  to  write  accounts.    Be- 
sides these  officers  of  the  state  there  were  the  Patwari, 


Chowdhri  and  the  Muoaddamwho  acted  as  intermediaries- 
between  the  people  and  the  state.    The  shiqdar  was  a 
soldier,  the  amin  a  civilian  whose  main  function  was  the 
assessment  and  collection  of  land  revenue.    The  shiqdar's 
duty  was  to  enforce  the  royal  farmans  and  to  give  military 
assistance  to  the  Amin  when  he  needed  it.    The  Amin 
was  the  principal  civil  officer  and  was  responsible  to  the 
central  government  for  his  actions.    The  parganas  were^ 
grouped  into  sarkars.  each  of  which  had  a  shiqdUr  j- 
shiqdaran    (Shiqdar-in-chief)  and   a  Munsif-i-munsifdn 
(Munsif-m-chief)  who  looked  after  the  w6^K  61  Ihe  pargana 
officers  throughout  their  division.  Their  duty  was  to  watch 
,the  conduct  of  both  the  amilg'  and  'the  people,  to  settle 
disputes  regarding  the  boundaries  of  the  parganas  and  to 
punish  any  acts  of  lawlessness  on  the  part  of  the  people. 
The  amil$  were  frequently  transferred  after  one  or  two 
years  from  one  place  to  another  and  loyal  and  experienced 
officers  were  treated  with  special  favour. 

Before  the  time  of  Sher  Shah,  the  land  was  not  measured 
and  the  present,  past  and  probable  future  state  of  a  pargana 
was  ascertained  from  the  Qanungo.    Sher 
venue!*     Re"     Shah  ordered  an  accurate  survey  of  all  land  , 
\  in  the  empire.  The  land  was  measured  at  bar- 

vest  time  and  the  state  demand  was  fixed  at  one-third  of 
the  expected  produce. ]  It  was  j>ay able  in  cash  or  kind.  The 
revenue  was  realised  by  the  muqaddams  who  were  given 
a  share  oi  the  produce,  but  "tHe"  ryots'  were  sometimes 

1  It  is  stated  in  the  Ain  that  cash  rates  were  fixed  for  a  few 
special  crops,  mainly  vegetables,  but  for  all  the  principal  staples,  the 
*  good, '  *  middling, '  and  4  bad  '  yields  per  bigha  were  added  up,  one- 
third  of  the  total  was  reckoned  as  the  average  produce  (mahsul),  and 
one-third  of  this  was  fixed  as  the  state  demand.  In  certain  parts  of 
the  empire  such  as  Mulfcan  the  state  demand  was  fixed  at  one-fourth 
also.  Moreland,  The  Agrarian  System  of  Moslem  Indiar  p.  76% 


allowed  to  pay  to  the  treasury  direct.  Sher  Shah  was  very 
careful  of  the  interests  of  the  cultivators.    The  revenue 
officers  were  asked  to  be  lenient  at  the  time  of  assessment 
but  they  were  to  show  no  mercy  at  the  time  of  collection. 
When  there  was  drought  or  any  other  unforeseen  calamity 
advances  were  made  to  the  cultivators  to  relieve  distress. 
Sher  Shah  was  much  impressed  by  Alauddin's  military 
isystem  and  adopted  its  main   principles.    He  wished  to 
"""  make  the  army  efficient  and  truly  imperial 

inspirit.  The  mansabdari  system  did  not 
exist,  for  the  Afghans  were  too  proud  to  accept  such 
gradations  of  service.  The  army  was  distributed  over 
different  parts  of  the  country  and  was  stationed  in  canton- 
ments of  which  Delhi  and  Rohtas  were  the  most  important. 
One  such  division  was  called  fauj  and  was  under  the 
command  of  a  faujdar  whose  duties  were  entirely  military. 
As  the  clan-Feeling^  was  very  powerful  among  the 
Afghans,  the  more  important  tribal  chiefs  were  allowed  to 
keep  large  forces  in  their  service.  The  king  had  also  a 
large  army  under  his  direct  command  ;  it  amounted  to 
150,000  cavalry  and  25,000  infantry,  well  trained  and  ac- 
<x>utred  with  muskets  and  bows.  The  cavalry  was  highly 
efficient ;  horses  were  trained  and  their  descriptive  rolls 
were  prepared.  The  soldiers  were  directly  recruited  by 
the  king  himself  and  salaries  were  fixed  after  personal 
inspection,.  Sher  Shah  treated  his  soldiers  with  kindness 
and  supplied  those  who  were  poor  with  arms  and  horses. 
But  his  discipline  was  very  severe.  They  were,  during 
their  marches,  particularly  enjoined  not  to  do  any  injury 
to  the  crops  of  the  cultivators.  If  the  crops  of  any  culti- 
vator were  destroyed,  he  was  recompensed  by  the  state 
for  his  loss  and  the  wrong-doers  were  severely  punished. 


When  the  king  accompanied  the  army,  he  used  to  look 
to  the  right  and  left  and  if  he  saw  any  man  injuring  the 
crops  he  cut  off  his  ears  with  his  own  hand,  and  hanging 
the  corn  round  his  neck  ordered  him  to  be  paraded  in  the 
camp,  feven  when  the  crops  were  damaged  owing  to  the 
narrowness  of  the  road,  he  sent  his  officers  to  estimate 
the  value  of  the  crop  and  give  compensation  in  money. 

Sher  Shah  dealt  out  even-handed  justice  to   the  high 
and  low,  and  no  man  could  escape  punishment  by  reason 
of  hisHbirth  or    rank.    There  were  courts 
and     called  the  Darul-adalat  in  which  the  Qazi 

and  the  Mir  Adi  tried  civil  cases  and  adminis- 
tered justice.  The  Hindus  probably  settled  their  disputes 
relating  to  inheritance,  succession  and  the  like  in  their 
Pancfiayats^  but  in  criminal  cases  they  were  amenable  tQ 
the  law  of  jh£7k*gjj^"'"  The  criminal  law  was  severe; 
punishments  were  harsh  and  cruejLand  their  object  was 
not  to  refornftHelcuIpiFit  but  *  t(T~set  an  example.'  Even 
tKett  aridTlroBEery  were  treated  as  capital  offences. 

The  police  organisation  of  Sher  Shah  though  primitive 
in  many  respects  was  highly  efficient.  He  tried  to  enforce 
the  principle  of  local  responsibility  in  the  matter  of  pre- 
venting crimes.  If  a  theft  or  robbery  occurred  within  the 
jurisdiction  of  an  amil  or  shiqdar,  and  the  culprits  were 
not  traced,  the  muqaddams  were  arrested  and  compelled 
to  make  good  the  loss.  When  a  murder  occurred  and  the 
murderer  was  not  traced,  the  muqaddams  were  seized  as 
before  and  asked  to  produce  him.  If  they  failed  to 
produce  him  or  to  give  his  whereabouts,  they  were  them- 
selves put  to  death.  Inanv  case  the  responsibility  of 

and  the  regulations  of  the  state  operated  harshly  upon 

B1.  22 


them.  But  the  system  resulted  in  the  complete  security 
<>f  life  and  property.  ~  The  travellers  andwayfarers  slept 
"witnout  the  least  anxiety  even  In  a  desert,  and  the 
Zamindars  themselves  kept  watch  over  them  for_fear  of 
the  king]  Besides  the  regular  police  there  were  the 
censors  of  public  morals,  whose  duty  was 

to  prevent*  sudcrimes  "as  drinking  and  adultery  and  to 
^enforce  tffe  Observance  of  religious  laws.  Spies  are  in- 
evitable in  a  despotic  state,  and  Sher  Shah 

diligent  spies  whojcept  him  informed  of  all  that  happened 
in  his  dominions. 

The  means  of  communication  were  very  inadequate 
in  the  middle  ages.    Sher  Shah  was  jhe  first  ^slini  ruler 
The   Means     w^°  unSertooITth?  construction  of.  rgads.-on 
of   Communi-     a/Jarg^^  The 

cation.  longest    road    was   that   which   ran    from 

Sonargaon  to  the_jndug^^bout  1500  krohs  in  length. 
There  were  others,  the  chief  of  which  were  one  from  Agra 
to  Burhanpur;  another  from  Agra  via  Biyana  to  the 
frontier  of  Marwar  and  to  the  fort  of  Chittor^and  a  fourth 
from  Lahore  to^litultan,  a  city  of  considerable  military 
importance  on  the  western  frontier.  Trees  were  planted 
on  both  sides  of  the  roads,  and  saraig  were  built  at  inter- 
vals of  every  two  krohs,  and  separate  accommodation  was 
provided  for  Hindus  and  Muslims.  Brahmans  were  em- 
ployed for  the  convenience  of  thellindus  to  supply  them 
with  water  and  to  cook  their  food.  For  the  upkeep  of  the 
sarais  villages  were  granted  by  the  state.  Every  sarai 
had  a  well,  a  mosque  and  a  staff  of  officers  who  were 
generally  an  imam,  amuazzin  and  a  number  of  watermen, 
;thtTSarat8._As  MrTQanungo  observes  these  saraiB  became 


4  the_veritable  arteries  of  the  empire,  diffusing  a  new 
life  among  its  hitherto  benumbed  limbs."*    Market  towns 

grew"up  around  these  sarais  and  a  brisk  trade  developed. 
They  served  also  the  purpose  of  dak  chowkis^  and  through 
them  news  came  to  the  emperor  from  the  remotest  parts 
of  his  dominions. 

Sher  Shah  made  liberal  grants  for  charitable  purposes 

but  he  exercised  a  personal  supervision  over  their  manage- 

Charitabie       ment-     He  often  said  that  it  was  incumbent 

endowments       upon  kings  to  give  grants  to  imams  and  holy 

and  grants.         men  jor  upQn  t^em  depended  the  happiness 

:  and  prosperity  of  a  state.  He  patronised  art  and  letters 
and  held  that  it  was  the  duty  of  kingsTto  ktfOf d  rulfaf  RT 
the  poor  and  the  destitute.  The  whole  system  of  grants 
was  carefully  examined  and  the  imams  and  holy  men  who 
had  by  bribing  the  amils  acquired  possession  of  more  land 
than  really  belonged  to  them,  were  deprived  of  such  illegi- 
timate acquisitions.  To  check  the  fradulent  practices  of 
the  grantees  he  ordered  the  mwnshis  to  prepare  the 
farman^^fimmed  and  sealed  them  himself  and  then  sent 
them  to  his  shiqdarsfpr  distribution.  All  grants  made  by 
rulers  other  than  the  Afghans  were  cancelled,  though  the 
grantees  were  not  wholly  deprived  of  their  lands.  The 
principle  which  he  generally  observed  was  that  no  deserv- 
ing person  should  go  unrewarded  and  no  one  should  have 
a  superfluity  of  state  benefactions.  JMadrasas  and 
mosques  were  maintained  and  ^stipends  were  granted  to 
teachers  "and  students.  The  state  established  a  number 
of  free  kitchens  the  annual  expenditure  of  which  in  those 
days,  when  the  value  of  money  was  much  higher  than  it 
is  now,  amounted  to  180,000  asharfU.^Eut  in  dealing 
His  own  tribesmen  Sher  Shah  adopted  a  policy  of 


To  the  men  of  the  Sur  tribe  and  his  own 
kinsmen  his  bounty  flowed  generously  irrespective  of 
desert,  and  every  pious  Afghan  who  came  to  Hindustan 
was  granted  an  annuity  from  the  royal  treasury.  This 
must  have  caused  discontent  among  his  subjects  of  which 
contemporary  historians  have  given  no  account. 

Sher  Shah  has  rightly  been  called  one  of  the  greatest 
rulers  o  j  mediaeval  India.  He  cherished  a  lofty  ideal  of 

kingship  and  used  to  say  that  'it  behoves  the 
^ShCer  srhah.r  °f   jgreat  to  be  always  active.'    He  lived  for  the 

state  and  worked  hard  for  the  welfare  of  his 
subjects.  He  looked  into  every  detail^  of  government  and 
supervised  the  activities  of  the  various  departments  with 
incessant  care.  He  rose  every  day  ^arly  in  the  morning 
before  sunrise,  took  his  bath  and  said  his  prayer.  For 
tour  hours  he  transacted  the  business  of  the  state  and 
then  watched  the  branding  of  horses  and  the  preparation 
of  descriptive  rolls.  After  breakfast  he  rested  for  a  while 
and  then  again  turned  to  business.  The  evenings  were 
set  apart  for  reading  the  Quran  and  for  attending  the 
public  praysy.f  No  branch  of  the  administration  was 
neglected  and  the  ministers  were  asked  to  report  to  him 
everything,  He  hated  corruption  and  injustice  and  severely 
punished  those  who  made  unlawful  gains.  The  interests 
of  the  peasantry  were  well  protected  and  any  damage  to 
crops  was  visited  with  a  drastic  punishment.  To  the 
poor  and  the  destitute  he  was  particularly  generous,  and 
at  all  hours  the  royal  kitchens  distributed  food  to  those 
who  were  in  need  of  it. 

As  a  soldier  he  was  superb.  In  strategy  andjactics 
he  outgeneralled  the  MughalaT  His  soldiers  reposed  confi- 
dence in  him  and  served  him  with  devotion  and  l&yalty. 


His  methods  of  war  were  mild  and  humane,  and  the 
soldiers  were  never  allowed  to  commit  acts  of  rapine  and 
plunder.  At  times  he  was  cunning  and  perfidious,  but 
•probably  because  like  other  men  of  his  age  he  believed 
that  nothing  was  wrong  in  war. 

Although  a  strict  Sunni,  he  was  well  disposed  towards 
other  sects  and  religions.  The  jeziya  was  not  abolished, 
but  the  Hindus  were  treated  with  Justice  and  toleration. 
To  encourage  education  among  his  Hindu  subjects,  he 
granted  them  wagfs  and  allowed  them  a  free  hand  in 
tfieir  management.  For  this  liberal  and  beneficent  policy 
he  was  liked  by  his  subjects  of  all  castes  and  creeds. 

Sher  Shah  deserves  a  high  place  in  history.  By  his 
political^  reforms  and  the  policy  of  religious  tolera- 
tion, ieinconcousl  of  Akbar's 


greatness^  His  organisation  of  theTaniT^evienue  system 
was  a  precious  legacy  to  the  Mughals.  They  followed  his 
plan  and  perfected  it.  Todarmal  and  others  adopted  his 
methods  of  administration,  and  modified  them  according  to 
the  needs  of  the  situation.  |  Indeed,  Sher  Shah's  achieve- 
ments place  him  in  the  forefront  of  mediaeval  history, 
and  his  policy  of  religious  toleration  will  ever  remain  a 
shining  example  of  his  far-sighted  statesmanship.  J 

Having  crossed  the  Ganges,  Humayun  proceeded  to- 
wards Agra,  and  taking  his  family  and  treasure  went 

to  Delhi,  but  when  he  found  it  impossible 
fligb£mayun'9  to  recapture  the  city,  he  left  for  Sarhind. 

His  brothers  gave  him  no  help,  and  Kamran 
proved  a  source  of  great  trouble  and  anxiety.  Humayun 
marched  towards  Sindh  and  laid  siege  to  Bhakkar,  but  here 
too  his  ill-luck  followed  him.  It  was  during  this  period  that 
he  married  HamidS,  daughter  of  Shaikh  Ali  Akbar  Jami, 


who  afterwards  became  the  mother  of  Akbar.  Disappoint* 
ed  at  the  conduct  of  his  brother,  he  sought  the  help  of 
Maldeva  of  Jodhpur  who  had  written  to  him  promising 
to  lend  him  a  contingent  of  20,000  Rajputs.  But  Maldeva 
did  not  keep  his  word.  When  Humayun  reached  the 
Raja's  territory,  he  offered  him  no  welcome,  and  the  spies 
who  were  sent  to  fathom  his  mind  brought  the  news  that 
he  meant  treachery.  Humayun's  old  librarian  who  had 
taken  service  with  Maldeva  sent  a  message  to  him  in  these 
words  :  '  March  at  once  from  wherever  you  are,  for 
Maldeva  intends  to  make  you  prisoner.  Put  no  trust  in 
his  words.'  This  change  in  Maldeva's  attitude  was  due 
to  his  fear  of  Sher  Shah  and  the  utter  hopelessness  of 
Humayun's  cause.  Amarkot  was  the  next  place  of  refuge 
where  the  royal  party  was  treated  well  by  Rana  Prasad 
who  promised  to  assist  the  emperor  in  conquering  Bhak- 
kar  and  Thatta.  It  was  here  in  a  desert  castle  that  the 
greatest  of  the  Mughal  emperors  was  born  on  November 
23,  1542  A.  D. 

Soon  after  this  happy  event  Humayun  left  Amarkot, 
and  marched  towards  Bhakkar  with  ten  thousand  men. 
But  Rana  Prasad 's  men  deserted  him  one  night  owing 
to  a  quarrel  between  the  Rana  and  the  Muslim  officers  in 
the  imperial  train.  The  chief  of  Bhakkar  was  tired  of 
war,  and  a  treaty  was  made  by  which  he  agreed  to  furnish 
him  with  30  boats,  10,000  miahkals,  2,000  loads  of  grain 
and  300  camels  to  enable  him  to  proceed  to  Qandhar. 
Kamran  had  become  master  of  the  entire  Afghan  region, 
and  was  acting,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  as  an  inde- 
pendent ruler.  His  brother  Askari  and  Hindal  had  become 
his  vassals  and  greatly  feared  him.  Humayun  found  no 
shelter  with  these  faithless  men,  and,  leaving  his  one-year 


old  child  Akbar  at  Qandhar,  he  decided  to  leave   for 
Persia  where  he  hoped  to  obtain  succour  from  the  Shah. 
Humayun  was  hospitably  received  bv  Shah  Tah^pagn 
who  was  a  young  man  of  27  years  of  age.    He  issued 
instructions  to  all  the  local  governors  and 
in    officers  in  his  kingdom  to  accord  a  warm 
welcome  to  Humayun.    But  the  effect  of 
his  hospitality  was  marred  by  his  desire  to  convert  the 
emperor  to  the  Shia  faith.  With  becoming  dignity,  Huma- 
yun affirmed  his  belief  in  the  Sunni  doctrine,  but  the 
Shah  continued  to  embarrass  him  with  his  importunities. 
Evasive  replies  proved  of  no  avail,  and  since  escape  was 
impossible,    the  emperor's  well-wishers  advised  him  to 
enter  into  an  agreement  with  the   Shah,   embodying  a 
declaration  of  his  acceptance  of  the  Shia  creed.    A  formal 
treaty  was   concluded  through  the   intercession  of  the 
Shah's  sister  between  the  two  sovereigns  by  which  the 
Shah,   agreed  to  help  Humayun  with  a  contingent  in 
conquering  Bokhara,  Kabul,  and  Qandhar  on  condition 
that  the  last  place  should  be  ceded  to  him  in  the  event  of . 
success^  Humayun  was  to  declare  himself  a  Shia  and 
tbiiave  the  Shah's  name  proclaimed  in  the  khutba.  a 
condition  to  which  he  agreed  with  considerable  reluctance. 
Encouraged  by  the  Shah's  promise  of  help  and  its  partial 
fulfilment  in  the  supply  of  a  force  of  14,000  men,   Huma- 
yun proceeded  to  invade  the  dominion  of  Kamran. 

Humayun  reached  Qandhar  in  March  1545,  and  laid 
siege  to  the  town.  The  capture  of  Qandhar  considerably 
improved  his  position,  and  having  gathered 
a11  his  forces  he  advanced  upon  Kabul.  Kam- 
ran  was  defeated  and  the  city  fell  into  his 
hands.  Prince  Akbar  whom  Kamran  had 


once  exposed  on  the  ramparts  of  the  fort  of  Kabul  was 
now  restored  to  his  father  after  a  long  separation.  Though 
Kamran  was  defeated,  he  still  entertained  hopes  of 
recovering  his  lost  kingdom .  He  was  defeated  again, 
and  in  a  night  encounter  Mirza  Hindal  was  killed.  The 
vanquished  prince  fled  to  the  court  of  Salim  Shah  Sur, 
but  the  latter  treated  him  so  roughly  that  he  was  obliged 
to  seek  refuge  in  the  Gakkar  country  in  disgust.  The 
Gakkar  chief  made  him  over  to_Humayun  who,  in 
obedience  to  nla  father's  command,  refusljcTtb  put  an 
end  to  ms  lire.  A  consultatioiTWg^tiield^with  the*  ISmrs, 
ancTTt  was  finally  decided  that  jiis  life  should  be  spargd 
but  he  should  be  rendered  incapable  of  further  mischjef 
'by  being  deprived .of  _ji  is  jg^gsight.  Kamran  expressed 
ajwish  tcTgo  to  Mecca^  which  was  granted.  His  wife 
accompanied  him  and  served  him  with  fidelity  and 
devotion  until  his  death  in  1557.  Mirza  Askari  who  had 
frequently  changed  sides  was  also  captured  and  allowed 
to  proceed  to  Mecca!  Having*'  got  rid  of  all  his  rivals  in 
the  north-west,  Humayun  began  to  make  preparations  for 
the  reconquest  of  Hindustan. 

Sher  Shah's  death  was  an  irreparable  blow  to  the 

Afghans.    He  had  nominated  no  successor  and  his  young 

son  Jalal  Khan  who  happened  to  reach  the 

Best<«Siio  ™'8  camP  in  time  was  Proclaimed  king  under  the 
title  of  Salim  Shah.  It  was  beyond  the  new 
monarch's  power  to  control  the  turbulence  of  the  Afghans, 
and  therefore  he  was  obliged  to  have  recourse  to  drastic 
measures  to  strengthen  his  position.  Several  Amirs  were 
imprisoned  and  put  to  death.  The  first  victim  of  his 
wrath  was  Shuiaat  Khan,  governor  of  Malwa.  whose  chief 
offence  was  that  he  had  hoarded  enormous  wealth  and 


Affectively  reduced  the  country  to  ordqr.  Shujaat's  infor- 
mants c6mmunicated  to  him  the  intentions  of  the  court, 
and  he  managed  to  escape  the  wrath  of  Salim  by  sub- 
missive and  respectful  representations.  But  Azim  Huma- 
yun,  the  governor  of  the  Punjab,  acted  with  little 
prudence  and  caution.  When  he  was  summoned  by  the 
king,  he  sent  a  substitute  for  himself  which  Salim  regard- 
ed as  an  act  of  gross  insubordination.  Fearing  drastic 
action  on  the  part  of  the  king,  Azim  broke  out  into  open 
rebellion,  but  he  was  defeated  by  the  royalists  in  the 
battle  of  Ambala.  He  fled  for  his  life,  and  the  Punjab 
was  occupied  by  the  Sultan.  Again  he  gathered  strength 
and  fought  an  action  with  the  royal  forces  but  he  was 
defeated.  He  fled  to  Kashmir  where  he  was  shot  dead 
by  certain  tribesmen. 

Salim  continued  his  policy  of  repression.  He  devised 
new  laws  and  maintained  an  efficient  army  to  curb  the 
power  of  the  nobles  He  deprived  them  of  their  war- 
like elephants,  kept  the  revenues  of  the  state  in  his  own 
hands  and  abolished  the  practice  of  supplying  money  in 
exchange  for  a  certain  fixed -quota  of  mounted  men.  He 
established  a  system  of  espionage  which  enabled  him  to 
know  all  that  happened  in  his  kingdom.  Justice  was  ad- 
ministered according  to  a  new  code  of  regulations  which 
were  interpreted  by  a  Munsif  and  not  by  a  Qazi  or  Mufti. 
To  enforce  these  laws  he  stationed  troops  in  the  various 
parts  of  his  dominions  and  exerted  himself  to  the  utmost 
to  see  that  the  machinery  of  government  worked  with 
efficiency  and  vigour. 

Salim  died  in  November  1554.  He  was  succeeded  by 
his  son  Firuz  Khan  but  the  latter  was  soon  murdered  by 
his  maternal  uncle  Mubariz  Khan  who  ascended  the 


throne  under  the  title  of  Muhammad  Shah  5dil.  Muham- 
mad Shah  5dil  was  a  worthless  debauchee,  but  he  had  a. 
capable  minister  in  Hemu,  a  Hindu,  who  manaped_his 
affairs  with  great  ability  and  vigour^ But  even  he  found 
it  difficult  to  keep  in  check  the  forces  of  disorder  which 
were  slowly  undermining  the  empire.  Rebellions  broke 
out  on  all  sides,  and  Muhammad's  cousin  Ibrahim  Khan 
Sur  seized  Delhi  and  Agra,  but  he  was  soon  defeated 
by  another  brother  Sikandar  Sur  who  acquired  pos- 
session of  the  whole  country  between  the  Indus  and  the 

Humayun  was  all  along  watching  the  chaotic  con- 
dition of  the  Afghan  empire.  In  November  1554,  he 
marched  towards  Hindustan  and  the  vanguard  of  the 
imperial  army  entered  Lahore  in  February,  1555.  Sikan- 
dar advanced  to  give  battle  at  the  head  of  a  large  army 
but  he  was  defeated  near  Sarhind.  He  fled  from  the  field 
of  battle  and  Humayun  was  restored  without  further 

The  emperor  did  not  live  long  to  enjoy  the  honours  of 
royalty  which  he  had  won  by  the  sheer  force  of  his  arms. 
One  day  as  he  was  descending  from  the 
°  f  terrace-roof  of  his  library,  he  knelt  down  on 
the  stairs  on  hearing  the  call  for  prayer,  but 
his  staff  slipped  on  the  polished  marble,  and  he  fell  head- 
long on  the  ground.  All  medical  aid  proved  unavailing, 
and  he  died  on  January  24,  1556.  His  death  was  con- 
cealed for  some  time,  and  it  was  after  17  days  that  the- 
Khutba  was  read  in  the  name  of  Jalal-ud-din  Muhammad 

Humayun  was  by  nature  a  kind,  gentle  and  affection- 
ate monarch.  He  was  well  disposed  towards  his  kinsmen, 


and  treated  them  with  generosity  and  leniency  even 
when  they  conspired  to  bring  about  his  ruin. 
°f  When  the  nobles  made  an  impassioned  appeal 
to  him  to  slay  his  arch-enemy  Kamran 
he  replied  :  *  Though  my  head  inclines  to  vonr  wnrdjyHny 
heart  does  nflt, '  and  refused  to  stain  his  hands  with  the 
murder  of  a  brother.  He  was  not  lacking  in  physical 
courage,  and  had  given  a  good  account  of  himself  during 
his  father's  campaigns.  But  his  general  indolence  and 
quixotic  generosity  frequently  spoiled  the  fruits  of  victory 
and  deprived  him  lit  times  of  his  most  valued  acquisitions. 
He  had  not  inherited  from  his  father  that  invincible 
courage  and  strength  ot"  will  which  had  led"  him  to  attempt 
thrice  the  conquest  oi  Samarqand  HOP  was  he  ao  skilled 
in  adjusting  his  means  tojiis  endst?=rHe~never  ~made"~ftTe 
f uHest  use  of  his  victories  and  often  began  a  new  plan 
before  executing  the  one  he  had  already  in  hand.  Besides, 
he  wasaddicted  to  opium_which  did  not  a  little  to  impair 
his  mental  and  bodily  strength.  But  Humayun  was  not 
wholly  devoid  of  noble'  qualities.  He  possessed  ability  and 
intelligence  of  no  mean  order.  He  loved  literature  and 
extended  his  patronage  to  men  of  Fetters.  Like  his 
father  he  was  fond  of  poetry  and  took  delight  in  com- 
posing  verses.  He  was  interested  in  mathematics  and 
astronomy,  and  his  plan  of  constructing  an  observatory" 
at  Delhi  was  interrupted  by  his  sudden  deatfc  But  what 
endears  Humayun  to  us  is  his  buoyancy  o'f  temper,  his 
cheerfulness  of  spirit  under  desperate  situations.  Through 
all  his  vicissitudes  he  preserved  his  native  goodness  and 
remained  a  bon  comrade  ±Q  his  officers  and  men.  His  bro- 
thers played  the  traitor  again  and  again,  but  he  never  dis- 
regarded his  father's  dying  injunction,  and  treated  them 


with  a  kindness  which  has  few  parallels  in  Mughal 
history.  For  fifteen  years  he  was  persecuted  by  the 
malice  of  destiny,  but  he  never  lost  the  equanimity  of 
his  temper  and  endured  his  misfortune  with  great  patience 
and  fortitude.  Throughout  his  life  Humayun  behaved 
as  an  indulgent  master,  a  warm-hearted  friend  and  an 
amiable  gentleman,  always  willing  and  prompt  to  show 
gratitude  to  those  who  rendered  him  service. 


At  the  time  of  Humayun's  death  Akbar  was  absent 
in  the  Punjab  whither  he  had  gone  with  Bairam  Khan  to- 
put  an  end  to  the  misgovernment  of  Abdul- 
Alba*881011  °f  mali»  the  local  ^vernor.  As  he  was  re- 
turning from  there  he  received  at  Kalanur, 
an  express  informing  him  of  the  sad  event.  There  was 
much  commotion  in  the  camp  but  the  chiefs  and  nobles 
after  the  customary  rites  of  mourning  proceeded  to  the 
coronation  ceremony  which  took  place  in  a  modest  garden 
on  February  14,  1556.  As  the  Prince  was  a  mere  boy  of 
thirteen,  his  father's  old  and  faithful  friend  Bairam  Khan 
undertook  to  act  &s  regent  for  him,  and  formally  assumed 
charge  of  the  affairs  of  the  empire 

India  was  neither  homogeneous  nor  well-governed  in 
1556.    The  provinces  of  Hindustan  were  in  a  state  of  dis- 
order and  the  country  round  Delhi  and  Agra 

dft^n  oflndil  was  in  the  throes  of  a  terrible  famine.  The 
late  emperor  had  all  his  life  wandered 
from  place  to  place  and  had  found  no  time  to  organise 
and  consolidate  his  empire.  After  his  death  the  whole 
country  was  reduced  to  a  congeries  of  states.  Towards 
the  north-west,  Kabul  with  its  dependencies  was  under 
Mirza  Muhammad  Hakim,  Akbar's  brother,  who  acted  aa 
an  independent  ruler,  and  the  empire  of  Hindustan  did 
not  lie  beyond  the  scope  of  his  "ambition.  Kashmir  had 
also  become  an  independent  state  under  a  local 



Muhammadan  dynasty,  and  the  Himalayan  states  in  the 
neighbourhood  enjoyed  a  similar  position.  Sindh  and 
Multan  had  separated  from  the  empire  of  Delhi  after 
the  death  of  Sher  Shah  and  formed  themselves  into 
independent  kingdoms.  Bengal  was  ruled  by  kings  of 
the  Sur  dynasty ;  Muhammad  Adil  ever  since  his 
•expulsion  from  Delhi  by  his  powerful  relative  Ibrahim 
Khan  had  retired  to  the  east,  but  his  indomitable  minister 
Hemu  was  already  in  the  field  at  the  head  of  a  large  army 
to  prevent  Akbar  from  taking  quiet  possession  of  his 
father's  dominions.  Another  Sur  claimant  was  Sikandar 
who  since  his  defeat  by  Bairam  Khan  in  the  battle  of 
-Sarhind  in  1555  was  wandering  in  the  Punjab,  cherishing 
the  hope  that  by  a  stroke  of  fortuitous  good  luck  he  might 
be  able  to  recover  the  throne  of  Sher  Shah.  To  the  west 
of  Delhi  the  Rajput  princes  exercised  independent  sway  in 
their  mountain  fastnesses.  The  most  important  states  at 
this  time  were  Mewar,  Jesalmir,  Bundi  and  Jodhpur,  ren- 
dered illustrious  in  the  annals  of  Rajasthan  by  the  heroic 
•exploits  of  their  warriors.  Indeed,  Humayun's  reign  had 
given  the  Rajput  princes  an  opportunity  of  increasing  the 
area  of  their  influence,  and  since  they  had .  no  reason  to 
fear  the  Mughal  government  at  Delhi,  they  had  developed 
their  military  resources  to  such  an  extent  that  they  felt 
afterwards  strong  enough  to  try  conclusions  even  with 
the  empire.  In  the  central  region  Humayun's  efforts 
had  failed  owing  to  his  own  woeful  lack  of  decision  and 
promptitude.  Malwa  and  Gujarat  had  become  inde- 
pendent states  with  considerable  territories  included  in 
their  jurisdiction.  Their  rulers  acted  as  independent 
kings,  made  wars  and  treaties  on  their  own  account,  and 
established  diplomatic  relations  with  foreign  powers. 


Gondwana  was  subject  to  a  kind  of  tribal  rulership  but 
its  affairs  were  efficiently  managed  by  Rani  Durgavati  for 
her  minor  son.  Across  the  Vindhyas,  Khandeah,  Berar, 
Bidar.  Ahmadnagar,  Bijapur  and  Golkunda  were  ruled  by 
their  own  Sultans  who  had  absolutely  no  concern  with 
the  rulers  of  Delhi.  Ever  since  the  break-up  of  the 
Bahmani  kingdom  towards  the  close  of  the  15th  century 
these  states  had  been  pre-oecupied  with  their  own  affairs 
and  had  taken  no  interest  in  the  politics  of  Hindustan. 
Further  south,  the  whole  country  from  the  Krisna  and 
Tungbhadra  rivers  to  Cape  Comorin  was  under  the  sway 
of  the  kings  of  Vijayanagar  whose  hostilities  towards  the 
Muhammadan  sultanates  are  a  matter  of  common  know- 
ledge in  Indian  history.  The  Portuguese  had  established 
themselves  on  the  western  sea-coast  and  possessed  a  few 
ports  like  Goa  and  Diu.  They  were  powerful  in  the 
Arabian  sea  and  the  Persian  gulf,  and  could  give  trouble 
to  Muslims  starting  on  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca. 

But  for  the  present  Akbar's  task  was  exceedingly 
difficult  and  to  all  appearance  beyond  the  powers  of  a  boy 
of  thirteen.  He  was  fortunate  in  having  in  his  atallq  a 
consummate  general  and  administrator,  who  •  not  only 
secured  his  throne  from  formidable  rivals,  but  also  held 
the  elements  of  disorder  in  check  at  a  critical  juncture  in 
the  empire's  history  until  the  reins  of  office  were  snatched 
from  him  by  his  impatient  and  ambitious  ward. 

Akbar  had  first  to  deal  with  the  Sur  Afghans.  Muham- 

mad Adil  had  not  yet  given  up  the  hope  of  regaining  the 

empire  over  which  Sher  Shah  had  once  ruled. 

A  aand     He  had  sti11  in  his  service  Hemu,  a  consum- 

t  h  e         8  u  r  -.*,*«  . 


Afghans.  125,*?  generaL??^  ,stat?l?man>  w^°  ^splayed 

orgahlsmg  capacity  "  and  valour  of  a  high 


order.  Originally  a  petty  shopkeeper  of  Rewari  in  Mewat, 
Hemu  was  a  man  of  humble  origin.  By  sheer  dint  of  merit 
he  had  risen  from  obscurity  to  high  position  and  had 
become    under    Adali  the  chief  minister.  Gradually  his 
influence    grew  at  the  Afghan  court;  he  granted  and 
resumed    jagirs    at  will  and  assumed  the  title  of  Raja 
Vikramaditya.    Even  Abul  Fazl  admits  that  he  managed 
the  affairs  of  state  with  rare  ability  and  success.    He  was 
one  of  the  greatest  men  of  his  day  and  among  Akbar's  op- 
ponents throughout  Hindustan  there  was  none  who  could 
excel  him  in  valour,  enterprise,   and  courage.    He  had 
earned  for  himself  unique  military  distinction  by  winning 
22  pitched  battles,   and  had    defeated  his  master's  rival 
Ibrahim  Sur.    Humayun's    sudden  death    aided  by  the 
circumstance  that  his  son  was  a  mere  lad  of  13,   revived 
Hemu's  hopes  of  securing  the  empire  of  Hindustan.     He 
was  sent  by  Adali,  who  was  in  the  east  at  this  time  with  a 
force     consisting    of  50,000    horse    and    500    elephants 
towards  Agra,  which  he  occupied  without  encountering 
any  serious  resistance  from  the  Mughal  generals.   Then  he 
marched  upon  Delhi  following  close  upon  the  heels  of  the 
retreating  army,  and  then  he  was  opposed  by  the  veteran 
Tardi  Beg  who  happened  to  be  in  charge  of  the  capital  at 
the  time.    Tardi  Beg  suffered  severe  defeat  at  the  hands 
of  Hemu  who  easily  acquired  possession  of  the  capital. 
Tardi    Beg    fled    to    the   imperial  camp  where  he  was 
put  to  death  by  the  orders  of  Bairam    Khan,  and  his 
action  was  approved  by  the  youthful  emperor.    As  Abui 
Pazl  very  pertinently  observes,  a  disapproval  of  Bai ram's 
action  would  have  caused  disorder  in  the  country  and 
mutiny  in  the  army.    Whatever  may  be  said  about  the 
effect  produced  by  the  murder  of  a  general,  who  had 


been  driven  from  the  field  of  battle  by  a  powerful  enemy, 
the  deed'  is  a  stain  on  the  memory  of  Bairam  Khan. 
Akbar  is  not  to  blame,  for  he  was  still  in  statu  pupillari, 
and  it  would  have  been  an  act  of  unexampled  folly  to 
override  the  wishes  of  the  regent  whose  co-operation  was 
needed  to  save  the  kingdom  from  ruin  at  such  a  crisis. 
There  is  great  force  in  Dr.     Vincent  Smith's  contention 
that  those  who  condemn  the  execution  as  a  mere  murder 
do  not  sufficiently  appreciate  the  usage  of  the  times,   nor 
do    they   fully  understand  the  difficulties   and  dangers 
which  confronted  the  regent  and  his  youthful  ward. '  But 
the  manner  in  which  Bairam  brought  about  the  murder 
admits    of  no  palliation  even  on  the  ground  that    the 
interests  of  the  state  demanded  the  crime. 

Master  of  Delhi  and  Agra,  Hemu  set  his  forces  in 
order,  and  made  a  bold  bid  for  the  empire  of  Hindu- 
stan. There  was  at  this  time  a  serious  famine  in  Agra, 
Biyana,  and  Delhi,  and  Badaoni  writes  that  one  sir  ofjwar 
sold  for  2i  tank  as,  and  men  of  wealth  and  position  closed 
their  houses  and  died  by  tens  or  twenties  or  even  more  in 
one  place, '  getting  neither  grave  nor  shroud/ ~  The  Hindus 
also  suffered  miserably,  and  he  saw  with  his  own  eyes 
man  eating  his  fellow-man  in  sheer  desperation.  But 
Hemu  whose  heart  was  aflame  with  ambition  cared  nothing 
for  the  misery  and  Buffering  around  him  and  pushed  on 
his  preparations.  At  the  head  of  a  large  army  which 
included  1,500  war  elephants,  he  proceeded  to  the  field  of 
Panipat.  His  superior  numbers  filled  the  Mughals  with 
dismay,  and  in  the  first  charge  he  routed  the  right  and 

1  Akbar,  the  Great  Mughal,  p.  86. 
*  Al-BadftonT,  1,  pp.  549—61. 
F.  23 


left  wings  of  the  imperial  army.  But  before  he  could 
press  on  the  centre  with  his  elephants,  he  was  struck  in 
the  eye  with  an  arrow  which  made  him  sink  in  the  howdah 
in  a  state  of  unconsciousness.  Hemu's  disappearance 
caused  a  panic  in  the  army,  and  it  fled  in  pell-mell  confu- 
sion. The  gallant  leader  whose  *  virile  spirit '  is  praised 
even  by  such  a  hostile  writer  as  Abul  Fazl  was  captured 
and  brought  before  Akbar. '  Bairam  asked  the  young 
emperor  to  smite  the  head  of  the  infidel  and  earn  the  title 
of  Ghazi,  but  the  generous  lad  refused  to  do  so,  and 
observed  that  it  was  unchivalrous  to  slay  a  defenceless 
enemy.  Thereupon  Bairam  Khan  himself  thrust  his  sword 
into  Hemu's  body  and  killed  him.  His  head  was  sent  to 
Kabul,  and  his  body  was  gibbeted  at  Delhi  by  way  of 
giving  a  warning  to  other  like-minded  persons.  * 

Akbar  entered  Delhi  in  triumph  and  received  a  warm 
welcome  from  the  inhabitants  of  all  classes.  Agra  was 
soon  occupied,  and  officers  of  the  imperial  army  were 
deputed  to  seize  the  goods  and  treasures  of  Hemu  in 

Hemu's  death  dashed  to  the  ground  the  hopes  of  the 
Sur  dynasty.  Bairam  and  his  royal  ward  after  a  month's 
stay  in  the  capital  marched  towards  Lahore  in  pursuit  of 
Sikandar  Sur  who  was  still  at  large.  He  shut  himself  up 
in  the  fort  of  Mankot9  which  he  surrendered  after  a  long 
siege  in  May  1557.  He  was  treated  with  generosity,  and 
Bairam  Khan  respected  his  rank  by  assigning  to  him  certain 
districts  in  the  east  where  he  died  twelve  years  later. 

1  Akbaraama,  II  p.  69- 

*    Akbar,  the  Great  Mughal,  p.  86. 

2  It  it  a  fort  in  the  lower  hills  now  included  in  Jammu  territory  in 
Kashmir  State. 


The  defeat  of  Sikandar  was  followed  by  the  conquest 
of  Gwalior  and  Jaunpur,  and  the  regent  took  vigorous  mea- 
sures to  consolidate  the  empire.  But  he  soon  came  into 
conflict  with  his  growing  ward  who  had  already  begun  to 
-chafe  against  his  tutelage.  The  fall  of  Bairam  Khan  is  one 
of  the  most  interesting  episodes  in  the  early  history  of 
Akbar's  reign. 

feairam  Khan  was  left  master  of  the  situation  after 

Hu may un's  death,  and  was  allowed  to  assume  the  office 

of  the  vakil-i-saltnat  (chief  minister)  without 

rfm1  K°hai?ai"  any  °PPosi^on  I  He  was  an  able  and  experi- 
enced man  of  affairs,  who  rose  to  the  highest 
position  in  the  state  by  sheer  dint  of  merit.  /  He  had 
retained  his  loyalty  through  trying  times,  and  served  his 
late  master  Humayun  with  a  fidelity  and  devotion  which 
elicited  the  admiration  of  such  a  man  as  Sher  Shah.  Even 
Badaonl  who  is  an  orthodox  Sunni  praises  the  Shia 
minister's  upright  character,  love  of  learning  and  devout- 
ness,  and  expresses  regret  at  his  fall. I  But  excess  of  power 
leads  to  abuse,  and  Bairam  adopted  a  harsh  and  barbarous 
policy  towards  his  supposed  and  suspected  enemies.  He 
became  oversensitive  in  matters  regarding  himself,  and  in 
trivial  accidental  mishaps  saw  the  signs  of  a  sinister  con- 
spiracy to  compass  his  ruin.  Such  a  frame  of  mind  is  not 
likely  to  inspire  confidence  or  smooth  the  difficulties  which 
beset  on  every  side  a  great  public  servant,  whose  career  is 
.bound  to  be  a  series  of  studied  compromises  and  cautious 
measures.  Abul  Fazl  relates  the  causes  which  brought 
about  estrangement  between  Bairam  Khan  on  the  one  hand 
and  the  emperor  and  the  court  party  on  the  other.  Bairam 
had  appointed  Shaikh  Gadai  who  was  a  Shia  to  the  office 
of  Sadr-i-Sadttr,  and  this  was  construed  by  the  Sunnis  as  a 


concession  to  the  creed  professed  by  the  regent.    In  addi- 
tion to  this  high  office  he  allowed  the  Shaikh  to  endorse 
decrees  with  his  seal,    and    exempted    him  from    the 
ceremony  of  homage,  and  granted  him  precedence  over 
the  Saiyyads  and  the  Ulama.    He  had  conferred  the  titles 
of  Sultan  and  Khan  upon  his  menial  servants,  and  showed 
an  utter  lack  of  propriety  in  disregarding  the  claims  of 
the  servants  of  the  royal  household.    He  granted  the 
Panjhazari  (5000)  mansab  to  no  less  than  25  of  his  own 
favourites  and  ignored  the  just  claims  of  others.    He 
punished  the  emperor 's  servants  severely,  when  they  were 
found  guilty  of  the  most  trivial  misconduct  or  dereliction 
of  duty,  while  his  own  servants  were  allowed  to  escape 
scot  free  even  when  they  committed  grave  offences.    In 
a  fit  of  rage  he  had  ordered  the  emperor's  own  elephant- 
driver  to  be  put  to  death  without  any  fault.     The  execu- 
tion of  Tardi  Beg  had  also  caused  alarm  among  the  nobles, 
who  considered  their  position  at  court  highly  precarious 
as  long  as  Bairam  was  in  power.    A  more  serious  reason 
for  the    growing   estrangement    between    Akbar    and 
Bairam  was  the  suspicion  that  the  latter  was  harbour- 
ing the  intention  of  placing  on  the  throne   Abul  Qasim, 
son  of  Kamran.    Lastly,  Akbar  had  grown  tired  of  his 
tutelage  and  wished  to  be  a  king  in  fact  as  well  as 
in  name.    Like  others  he  disliked  Bairam's  arrogance  and 
unbridled  exercise  of  authority,  and  desired  to  put  an  end 
to  it,  as  is  shown  by  the  farman  which  he  issued  when 
the  Khan-i-Khanan's  rebellious  intentions  became  mani- 
fest afterwards. 

A  conspiracy  was  formed  in  which  the  principal  part- 
nerd  were  Hamida  B5nQ  Begum,  the  dowager  queen, 
MBham  Ankah,  the  fostermother  of  Akbar,  her  son  Adam 



Khan  and  her  relative  Shibabuddin,  governor  of  Delhi. 
The  plan  was  discussed  with  the  emperor  at  Biyana 
whither  he  had  gone  on  the  pretext  of  hunting. 

It  has  been  suggested  that  the  emperor  was  too  deeply 
immersed  in  hunting  expeditions  to  give  thought  to  such 
matters.  These  arguments  are  scarcely  tenable  in  view 
of  the  fact  that  he  had  begun  to  take  a  keen  interest  in 
political  affairs,  and  was  fully  alive  to  the  importance  of 
asserting  his  own  authority.  Hunting  afforded  a  good 
pretext  as  it  well  might  under  such  circumstances.  The 
plot  was  carried  out  without  the  slightest  slip  from  start 
to  finish,  and  the  perfect  accordance  of  its  execution  with 
the  original  plan  shows  that  the  emperor  was  fully  aware 
of  it,  and  followed  the  details  with  his  usual  intelligence 
and  alertness. 

It  was  arranged  that  Akbar  should  go  to  Delhi  on  the 
pretext  of  seeing  his  mother  who  was  reported  to  be  ill. 
When  he  was  there,  Maham  Ankah  employed  all  the  arts 
of  a  clever  and  intriguing  woman  to  foment  ill-feeling 
against  the  Khan-i-Khanan,  and  magnified  his  indiscreet 
utterances  into  insults  towards  the  royal  authority. 
Bairam  who  soon  discovered  what  was  passing  behind 
the  scenes  offered  '  supplication  and  humility, '  but  Akbar 
had  resolved  to  end  his  unpopular  regime.  His  friends 
advised  him  to  seize  the  person  of  Akbar  and  crush  the 
conspirators  by  a  coup  de  main,  but  he  refused  to  tarnish 
his  record  of  faithful  service  by  a  seditious  act.  Akbar 
sent  him  a  message  that  he  had  determined  to  take  the 
reins  of  government  in  his  own  hands,  and  that  he 
desired  him  to  proceed  on  pilgrimage  to  Mecca.  He 
offered  him  a  jagir  for  his  maintenance  the  revenue  of 
which  was  to  be  sent  to  him  by  his  agents. 


Bairam  received  Akbar's  message  with  composure  and 
prepared  to  submit  to  his  fate.  When  he  moved  towards 
Biyana  in  April  1560,  the  court  party,  perturbed  by  the 
anxiety  lest  the  Khan -i-Kh  an  an  should  rebel,  induced  Akbar 
to  send  a  certain  Pir  Muhammad,  a  former  subordinate  of 
Bairam's,  with  a  force  '  to  hasten  the  latter's  departure 
for  Mecca  '  or  as  BadaonI  puts  it *  to  pack  him  off  as  quickly 
as  possible* to  Mecca  without  giving  him  any  time^for 
delay. ' 1  Bairam  was  annoyed  at  the  insult  and  decided  to 
breakout  into  open  rebellion.  He  proceeded  towards  the 
Punjab,  and  having  left  his  family  and  goods  in  the  fort  of 
Tabarhindah,  resumed  his  journey.  Akbar  sent  his  generals 
to  deal  with  the  insurgent  minister,  and  in  an  action  fought 
near  Jalandhar  he  was  defeated  and  driven  to  seek  refuge 
in  the  Siwalik  hills.  The  emperor  himself  started  for 
the  Punjab,  and  marched  in  pursuit  of  the  Khan-i-Khanan. 
Driven  to  bay,  Bairam  offered  submission  and  implored 
forgiveness.  Akbar  who  fully  appreciated  his  services  to 
his  dynasty  readily  agreed  to  pardon  him,  and  received 
him  *  with  the  most  princely  grace,  and  presentedJum 
with  a  splendid  robe  of  honour. ' a  He  was  allowed  to 
depart  for  Mecca  wftlfsuitable  dignity,  and  the  emperor 
returned  to  Delhi. 

Bairam  marched  through  Rajputana  en  route  to  Mecca, 
and  reached  Patan  in  Gujarat,  where  he  stayed  for  a  short 
time.  The  governor  received  him  well,  but  made  no 
arrangements  for  his  safety.  Probably  he  apprehended  no 
danger  as  the  minister  had  expressed  contrition  for  his 
rebellious  conduct.  To  the  surprise  of  all,  he  was  murder- 
ed by  an  Afghan,  whose  father  had  been  killed  in  an 

1  Al-Badtonl,  II,  p.  33, 
f  Elliot,  V,  p.  268. 



action  with  the  Mughals  under  the  command  of  Bairam 
Khan.  Bairam's  camp  was  plundered,  but  his  son  Abdur 
Rahim  who  was  then  a  child  of  four  years  of  age  was 
rescued  from  the  ruffians,  and  sent  to  court,  where  by  hia 
great  talents  and  devotion  to  the  throne  he  rose  to  a  position 
of  great  eminence  and  earned  the  title  of  Khan-i-Khanau 
in  recognition  of  his  valuable  services  to  the  empire. 

Bairam's  fall  cleared  the  way  for  the  party  of  MSharo 
Ankah,  a  fostermother  of  Akbar,  whose  real  capacity  for^ 

intrigue  soon,  gained  for  her  aa 

The  so-caii 
ed     petticoat     important  position    in  the  state.    Several 

e  n  *'  historians  write  that  she  became  the  empe- 
ror's prime  confidante  in  all  matters  and 
held  the  reins  of  government  in  her  hands.  Dr.  Vincent  ' 
Smith  concludes  his  observations  on  the  fall  of  Bairam  by 
saying  that  Akbar  shook  off  the  tutelage  of  the  Khan-i- 
Khanan  only  to  bring  himself  under  the  'monstrous 
regiment  of  unscrupulous  women,  '  and  expresses  the 
view  that  Maham  proved  unworthy  of  the  trust  reposed 
in  her.  He  repeats  the  usual  charge  that  she  bestowed 
offices  on  her  worthless  favourites,  and  cared  for  nothing 
except  her  own  interests. 

Now,  this  is  not  quite  correct  If  she  had  really  domi- 
nated Akbar,  as  is  frequently  supposed,  she  would  have 
advanced  the  claims  of  her  own  son  Adham  Khan,  who  had 
distinguished  himself  as  a  soldier  against  the  Bhadauria 
Rajputs  at  Mankot.  Then,  Akbar's  treatment  of  Bairam 
after  his  rebellion  militates  against  the  view  of  Dr.  Smith, 
MSham's  party  had  planned  the  ruin  of  the  Khan-i-Khanan, 
and  no  one  would  have  been  more  gratified  than  Mfiham 
to  see  the  old  minister  disgraced  and  condemned  to  death. 
But  Akbar  acted  according  to  his  own  judgment,  and 


granted  pardon  to  his  old  tutor  irrespective  of  the  wishes 
of  Maham  and  her  associates.  It  has  been  seriously  argued 
that  her  object  was  merely  to  further  the  interests  of  her 
own  son  and  relatives.  But  facts  do  not  warrant  this  view. 
No  title  or  Jagir  was  conferred  upon  Adham  Khan  during 
this  period.  It  is  true,  he  was  entrusted  with  the  command 
of  the  expedition  against  Malwa,  but  after  the  conquest  he 
was  not  appointed  sole  governor  of  the  province.  Again, 
when  reports  reached  the  emperor  of  his  misappropriation 
of  booty,  he  marched  in  person  from  Agra  on  May  13, 
1561,  to  punish  him,  but  the  culprit  obtained  a  pardon 
through  the  intercession  of  his  mother.  Later,  when 
Adham  murdered  Shamsuddin  Atka  Khan  (May  16,  1652) 
on  whom  the  emperor  proposed  to  confer  the  office  of 
vakil  in  spite  of  Maham's  opposition  Akbar  ordered  him  to 
be  thrown  down  twice  the  ramparts  of  his  fort  in  a  terrible 
rage  so  that  his  brains  were  dashed  out  and  he  was  killed. 
The  emperor  himself  broke  the  news  to  Maham  who  is 
reported  to  have  uttered  the  words :  '  Your  Majesty  did 
well. '  Life  ceased  to  have  any  interest  for  Maham  who 
followed  her  son  to  the  grave  within  40  days  of  his  death. 
If  Akbar  had  been  under  Maham's  influence,  Adham 
would  not  have  suffered  such  a  cruel  fate. 

A  few  events  of  this  period  deserve  to  be  noticed.  An 
expedition  against  Malwa  was  sent  (1560  A.D.)  under 
Adham  Khan  and  Pir  Muhammad  Sherwani  who  defeated 
Baz  Bahadur,  the  ruler  of  the  country,  and  seized  much 
booty.  The  conquest  was  accompanied  by  acts  of 
ruthless  cruelty  and  the  misappropriation  of  booty  by 
Adham  Khan.  Akbar  marched  in  person  to  punish  him, 
but  as  has  been  said  before,  it  was  through  his  mother's 
intercession  that  he  secured  his  pardon. 

I ; «W-t •*>£'*  JJ^E    ^*  * 

mjiMu*«»i*s,   ~*w+*+'"**  *vf»C    vV   ^>' 
r«wi»^^  < .  _  -;  vi^v.    *?*  r/, 


After  some  time  Adham  Khan  was  recalled  from  Malwa 
"which  was  entrusted  to  Pir  Muhammad.  But  the  latter  so 
hopelessly  mismanaged  things  that  war  broke  out  again, 
and  Baz  Bahadur  once  more  recovered  his  lost  kingdom. 
He  found  it  difficult  to  maintain  his  position,  and  was 
expelled  from  the  country.  He  was  finally  sent  to  the 
court  where  the  emperor  conferred  upon  him  a  mansab 
of  1,000,  which  was  afterwards  raised  to  2,000.  Adham 
Khan  was  at  this  time  thrown  down  the  ramparts  of  the 
fort  for  the  murder  of  Shamsuddin  Muhammad  Atka 
Khan,  who  had  been  appointed  to  the  office  of  minister 
(vakil)  in  November  1561  A.D. 

Akbar  was  a  man  of  strong  imperial  instinct,  and  wish- 
ed to  make  himself  the  supreme  ruler  of  Hindustan. 

With  this  object  in  view  he  set  himself  to 
m"     the  task  of  destroying  the  independence  of 

every  state  in  India,  and  this  policy  was  con- 
tinued until  1601 ,  when  the  capture  of  Asirgarh  crowned 
his  career  of  unparalleled  military  glory  and  conquest. 

He  began  by  ordering  an  unprovoked  attack  upon 
the  small  kingdom  of  Gondwana  in  the  Central  Provinces 

which  was  then  ruled  by  a  remarkable 
^ondwfins^  °f  Queen,  the  gallant  Rani  Durgawati,  so  well 

known  in  history,  who  acted  as  regent  for 
her  minor  son.  Asaf  Khan,  the  governor  of  Kara, 
inarched  against  her.  The  Rani  bravely  defended  herself, 
but  in  a  battle  between  Garh  and  Mandal  in  the  modern 
Jabalpur  district  she  was  defeated  by  the  imperialists 
who  far  exceeded  her  in  numbers.  Like  queen  Boadicea 
of  the  Celts,  Durgawati  preferred  death  to  dishonour, 
and  perished  on  the  field  of  battle,  fighting  to  the  last. 
The  country  was  laid  waste,  and  immense  .booty  was 


captured  by  the  invaders.  Bir  Narayan,  the  young  Raja,- 
turned  out  a  true  son  of  her  mother.  Realising  the  impos- 
sibility of  success  against  his  enemies,  he  performed  the 
rite  of  Jauhar,  and  then  died  fighting  bravely  in  defence- 
of  the  honour  of  his  house. 

The  conquest  of  GondwSna  synchronised  with  three 
important  rebellions  in   Hindustan  which  were  all  effect- 
ively suppressed.    Abdulla    Kb  an  Uzbeg 
who     had    superseded     Pir  Muhammad 
rebelled  in  Malwa,  but  he  was  defeated  and  driven  into' 
Gujarat.    Early  in   1565  broke  out  the  rebellion  of  Khan 
Zaman,    another    Uzbeg    leader    of    Jaunpur.     Akbar 
himself  marched  to  the  east,    and    drove    the   rebels 
towards  Patna.    Khan    Zaman  made  peace   which    he 
violated  soon  afterwards. 

More  serious  than  these  was  the  invasion  of  the 
Punjab  by  Akbar 's  brother  Mirza  Hakim  who  was  en- 
couraged in  his  designs  by  the  Uzbegs.  The  half-subdued 
rebel  Khan  Zaman  acknowledged  his  claim  to  the  throne 
of  Hindustan  and  caused  the  Khutba  to  be  read  in. 
Hakim's  name.  Mightily  offended  by  his  brother's 
hostile  move,  Akbar  marched  towards  the  Punjab.  The 
news  of  his  approach  frightened  Hakim,  and  he  beat  a 
hasty  retreat  across  the  Indus.  Akbar  returned  to  Agra 
in  May,  1567,  and  resolved  to  deal  with  Khan  Zaman.  He 
rode  across  the  Ganges  on  the  back  of  his  elephant  at  the 
head  of  a  considerable  force  and  inflicted  a  severe  defeat 
upon  the  rebellious  Uzbeg.  He  was  killed,  and  his  brother 
Bahadur  was  captured  and  beheaded.  Their  accomplices 
were  severely  punished,  and  several  of  them  were  trampl- 
ed under  the  feet  of  elephants.  The  emperor  obtained  a 
large  number  of  the  heads  of  the  enemy  by  offering  a 


gold  mohar  for  the  head  of  a  Mughal  rebel  and  a  rupee 
for  that  of  a  Hindustani. 

Akbar  was  by  nature  a  tolerant  and  broad-minded 

ruler.  Born  under  the  sheltering  care  of  a  Hindu,  when  hia 

father  was  wandering  as  an  exile,  disowned 

tifekRajput8nd  by  those  who  had  enjoyed  his  favour,  Akbar 
sympathised  with  the  Hindus  and  sought 
their  friendship.  The  Rajputs  were  the  military  leaders 
of  the  Hindu  community.  They  were  the  best  fighting 
men  of  India,  and  must  needs  be  subdued  or  conciliated,  if 
his  empire  was  to  rest  upon  solid  foundations.  His  associa- 
tion with  cultivated  men  enlarged  his  natural  sympathies- 
and  convinced  him  of  the  futility  of  sectarian  differences. 
Men  like  Todarmal  and  Birbal  who  joined  his  service 
impressed  him  with  the  genius  and  ability  of  the  Hindus, 
and  the  Emperor  became  more  and  more  inclined  to 
extend  his  favour  to  them  and  to  make  them  sharers  in 
developing  the  grandiose  plan  of  an  empire,  knowing  na 
distinction  pf  caste  and  creed,  which  he  was  maturing  in 
his  mind.  IThere  could  be  no  Indian  empire  without  the 
Rajputs,  no  social  or  political  synthesis  without  their 
intelligent  and  active  co-operation.  The  new  body  politic 
must  consist  of  the  Hindus  and  Muslims  and  must 
contribute  to  the  welfare  of  both.  The  emperor's  lofty 
mind  rose  above  the  petty  prejudices  of  his  age,  and 
after  much  anxious  thought  he  decided  to  associate  the 
Rajputs  with  him  on  honourable  terms  in  his  ambitious 
enterprises.  The  first  Rajput  to  join  the  imperial  court 
was  BhSrmal,  the  KachwShS  Raja  of  Amber.  In  January, 
1562,  when  the  emperor  was  going  to  Ajmer  to  visit  the 
holy  shrine  of  Khwaja  Muinuddin,  he  was  informed  that 
BhSrmal  was  hard  pressed  by  Sharafuddin  Husain,  the 


Governor  of  Mewat  at  the  instigation  of  Suj§,  son  of  his 
brother  Puranmal.  At  Sgnganlr,  Bharmal  with  his  family 
waited  upon  His  Majesty  and  was  received  with  honour. 
He  expressed  a  wish  to  enter  the  imperial  service  and 
strengthened  his  relationship  by  means  of  a  matrimonial 
alliance.  His  wish  was  granted,  and  on  his  return  from 
A  jmer  Akbar  received  at  S§mbhar  the  Raja's  daughter 
whom  he  married.  Bharmal  with  his  son  Bhagwan  Das 
and  grandson  Man  Singh  accompanied  the  emperor  to 
Agra  where  he  was  given  a  command  of  5,000,  and  his 
son  and  grandson  were  granted  commissions  in  the 
imperial  army.  This  marriage  is  an  important  event  in 
our  country's  history.  It  healed  strife  and  bitterness, 
and  produced  an  atmosphere  of  harmony  and  good  will 
where  there  had  been  racial  and  religious  antagonisms 
•of  a  most  distressing  character.  Dr.  Beni  Prasad  rightly 
observes  that  '  it  symbolised  the  dawn  of  a  new  era  in 
Indian  politics  ;  it  gave  the  country  a  line  of  remarkable 
sovereigns  ;  it  secured  to  four  generations  of  Mughal  em- 
perors the  services  of  some  of  the  greatest  captains  and 
-diplomats  that  mediaeval  India  produced.' 

The  Rana  of  Mewar  was  the  greatest  prince  in  Raj- 
putana.  He  traced  his  descent  from  Rama,  the  hero  of  the 
great  epic,  Ramayana,  and  was  the  acknow- 

°f  led«ed  head  of  K*Wrt  chivalry.  Akbar, 
who  had  received  the  homage  of  the  Raja 
of  Amber,  clearly  saw  that  his  aim  of  being  the  para- 
mount lord  of  Northern  India  could  not  be  realised  unless 
lie  captured  the  famous  fortresses  of  Chittor  and  Ran- 
thambhor.  The  conquest  of  Mewar  was  therefore  part  of 
.a  larger  enterprise,  and  the  emperor  intended  to  treat 
It  as  a  stepping  stone  to  his  further  conquest  of  the 

SHER  SHAH'S  EMPIRE,  1540  A.D. 


whole  of  Hindustan.  Besides,  the  Rana  had  given  offence 
to  the  emperor  by  giving  shelter  to  Baz  Bahadur,  the 
fugitive  king  of  Malwa,  and  by  assisting  the  rebellious 
Mirzas.  In  August  1567,  when  the  emperor  was  encamped 
at  Dholpur  on  his  way  to  'Malwa,  Shakti  Singh,  a  son  of 
the  Rana  of  Mewar,  who  had  fled  from  his  father  in 
anger,  waited  upon  him.  One  day  Akbar  told  the  young 
prince  in  jest  that  all  the  important  chieftains  of  India 
had  offered  submission,  but  Rana  Udaya  Singh  had  not 
yet  done  so,  and  therefore  he  proposed  to  march  against 
him.  The  prince  quietly  escaped  from  the  royal  camp 
at  night  and  informed  his  father  of  the  emperor's  inten- 
tions. Akbar,  when  he  came  to  know  of  Shakti  Singh's 
departure,  was  filled  with  wrath,  and  resolved  to  humble 
the  pride  of  Mewar. 

In  September,  1567,  the  emperor  started  for  Chittor, 
and  on  October  20,  1567,  reached  near  the  fort 
and  encamped  his  army  in  the  vast  plain  that  still  sur- 
rounds it.  The  Rana  had  already  left  Chittor,  and  retired 
to  the  hills  with  the  advice  of  his  chiefs,  entrusting  the 
fort  to  the  care  of  Jayamal  and  Patta  with  8,000  brave 
Rajputs  under  their  command. '  The  names  of  these  two 
warriors  are,  as  Colonel  Tod  enthusiastically  records, 
household  words  in  Mewar,  and  will  be  honoured  while 
the  Rajput  retains  a  shred  of  his  inheritance  or  a  spark 
of  his  ancient  recollections. 

1  Colonel  Tod  speaks  of  two  invasions  of  Mewar  but  this  is  prob- 
ably an  invention  of  the  bards. 

Udaya  Singh  did  not  runaway  from  Chittor  as  is  sometimes  suppos- 
ed. He  called  a  council  of  his  Chiefs  when  he  heard  of  A k bar's  intention 
to  invade  his  country.  They -told  him  that  Mewar  had  exhausted  her 
strength  in  fighting  against  Gujarat  and  it  would  be  difficult  to  resist 
Akbar  who  was  so  powerful.  They  advised  him  to  retire  to  the  hills 
with  his  family. 

Gauri  Shankar  Ojha,  Rajputana  ka  Itihas  (Hindi),  Pb.  II,  pp.  724-25. 


The  imperialists  laid  siege  to  the  fortress,  and  Akbar 
ordered  Sabats  to  be  constructed.  The  Rajputs  fought 
with  great  gallantry,  and  the  emperor  himself  narrowly 
escaped  death  several  times.  So  gloomy  was  the  prospect 
that  the  emperor  vowed  to  undertake  a  pilgrimage  on 
foot  to  the  Khwaja's  shrine  at  Ajmer,  if  God  granted 
him  victory  in  the  war.  Fighting  went  on  ceaselessly 
until  February  23,  1568,  when  Jayamal  was  shot  in  one 
of  his  legs  by  a  bullet  from  the  Emperor's  gun.  His  fall 
was  a  great  blow  to  the  Rajputs  but  they  did  not  lose 
heart.  Suffering  from  a  mortal  wound,  Jayamal  called 
together  his  men  and  asked  them  to  perform  the  last  rite 
of  jJauhar  and  to  prepare  for  the  final  charge.  The 
ghastly  tragedy  was  perpetrated,  and  many  a  beautiful 
princess  and  noble  matron  of  Mewar  perished  in  the 

Next  morning  the  gates  were  opened,  and  the  Rajputs 
rushed  upon  the  enemy  like  mad  wolves.  Jayamal  and 
Patta  bravely  defended  the  honour  of  Mewar,  but  they 
were  at  last  slain  in  the  action.  The  entire  garrison 
died  fighting  to  a  man,  and  when  Akbar  entered  the 
city,  he  ordered  a  general  massacre.  Abul  Fazl 
writes  that  30,000  persons  were  killed,  but  this  seems 
to  be  an  exaggeration.  Having  entrusted  the  fort  to 
his  own  garrison,  the  emperor  returned  to  Ajmer 
and  fulfilled  the  vow  which  he  had  made  during  the 
Biege.  He  was  so  struck  by  the  valour  of  the  Rajputs 
that  when  he  reached  Agra  he  ordered  the  statues 
of  Jayamal  and  Patta  to  be  placed  at  the  gate  of  the 

A  year  after  the  conquest  of  Chittor,  the  emperor  sent 
his  generals  against  Ranthambhor,  the  stronghold, of  the 


Hara  section  of  the  Chohan  clan,  deemed  impregnable  in 
Rajasthan.    In  December  1568,  the  emperor 

set  out  m  person  and  **r™e&  at  the  scene 
-and  Kaiinjar.      of  action  in  February  1569.    The  fort  was 

situated  on  a  hill  so  high  that  ascent  was 
impossible,  and  manjniqa  were  of  little  use.  The  imperi- 
alists managed  to  get  some  guns  to  the  top  of  another  hill, 
which  existed  very  near  When  bombardment  began 
from  this  hill,  the  walls  began  to  give  way,  and  the  edi- 
fices in  the  fort  crumbled  down  to  the  earth.  The  chief 
of  Ranthambhor  Surjana  Kara,  seeing  the  superior 
strength  of  the  imperial  army,  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
further  resistance  was  impossible.  Through  the  inter- 
cession of  Rajas  BhagwSn  Das  and  Man  Singh  he  sent  his 
sons  Duda  and  Bhoja  to  the  emperor,  who  granted  them 
robes  of  honour  and  sent  them  back  to  their  father. 
Touched  by  the  emperor's  magnanimity,  Surjana  Kara 
expressed  a  desire  to  wait  on  him.  His  wish  was  granted, 
and  escorted  by  Husain  Quli  Khan,  the  Rai  paid  his  res- 
pects to  Akbar  and  surrendered  to  him  the  keys  of  the 
fortress.  He  accepted  the  service  of  the  emperor,  and  was 
posted  as  a  qiladar  at  Garhkantak,  and  w&s  afterwards 
appointed  as  governor  of  the  province  of  Benares  and  the 
fort  of  Chunar. 

When  Akbar  left  Agra  for  Ranthambhor,  he  had  sent 
Man  jnu  Khan  QBqshSl  at  the  head  of  a  large  army  to  re- 
duce the  fort  of  Kaiinjar  in  Bundelkhand.  The  news  of 
the  fall  of  Chittor  and  Ranthambhor  had  already  reached 
Raja  Ramchandra  and  he  surrendered  the  fort  to  the  im- 
perial commandant  in  August  1569.  Friendly  greetings 
were  sent  to  the  Rana  who  was  given  a  jagir  near 
Allahabad,  and  the  fort  was  placed  in  charge  of  the  general 


whose  valour  had  captured  it.    The  conquest  of  Kalinjar 
g-ave  to  Akbar  an    important  fort   which  considerably 
strengthened  his  military  position  in    Northern    India. 
Henceforward  he  could  proceed  with  his  other  plans  of 
conquest  without  fearing  any  trouble  from  the  Rajputs. 

Several  other  Rajput  chiefs  offered  their  submission 

after  these  conquests.    Chandra  Sen,  son  of  Raja  Maldeva 

Submission      of  JodhPur>  waited  upon    His   Majesty   at 

of    their     Nagor,   but  his  friendship  does  not  seem  to 

chiefs.  have  laste(J  long     Chandra  Sen  defied  the 

authority  of  the  emperor  afterwards  and  retired  to  the 
hill  fort  of  Siwana.  The  emperor  ordered  an  attack  on 
Jodhpur,  and  gave  it  to  Rai  Rai  Singh  of  Bikanir.  Rai 
Singh's  father  Rai  Kalyan  Mai  also  came  to  pay  homage 
to  the  emperor  at  Nagor  with  his  son.  The  Raja  presented 
tribute,  and  the  loyalty  of  both  father  and  son  being 
manifest,  the  emperor  married  Kalyan  Mai's  daughter 
As  Kalyan  Mai  was  too  fat  to  ride  on  horseback,  he  was 
permitted  to  go  back  to  Bikanir,  while  his  son  remained 
at  court,  and  received  a  mansab  from  the  emperor. 

Akbar's  policy  towards  the  Rajputs  originated  in  am- 
I  bition,  but  it  was  more  generous  and  humane  than  that  of 
1  Reflection^  other  Muslim  rulers.  His  predecessors  had 
,  on  A  k  b  a  r's  <  humiliated  the  princes  whom  they  conquered 

Rajput  Policy.       md  rayaged    their    lands.     Akbar    wag    en. 

dowed  with  the  higher  qualities  of  statesmanship,  and  he 
resolved  to  base  his  empire  on  the  goodwill  of  both  Hindus 
and  Muslims.  He  adopted  a  policy  of  conciliation,  and 
refused  to  treat  them  as  inferiors  because  they  were 
*  infidels '  or  '  unbelievers. '  He  waged  relentless  wars 
against  them,  but  when  they  offered  -submission,  he 
sheathed  his  sword  with  pleasure.  No  desecration  or 


religious  persecution  marred  the  glory  of  his  triumphs,  and 
he  refrained  from  doing  anything  that  might  wound  the 
feelings  of  his  Rajput  enemies.  Equality  of  status  with 
the  Muslims  steeled  the  loyalty  of  the  Rajput  chiefs  and 
they  shed  their  lifeblood  in  the  service  of  the  empire  in 
distant  and  dangerous  lands.  The  friendship  was  further 
cemented  by  matrimonial  alliances  which  brought  advan- 
tages to  both  sides,  and  opened  new  avenues  of  honour  to 
the  Rajput  princes.  They  found  scope  for  themselves  as 
soldiers  who  might  have  otherwise  lived  out  their  life  in 
glorious  obscurity  in  their  mountain  or  desert  fastnesses. 
The  rapid  growth  of  the  empire  and  the  success  of  their 
mighty  hero,  a  worthy  object  of  devotion  and  loyalty, 
stirred  their  martial  spirit,  and  led  them  on  to  new  fields 
of  glory  and  renown,  and  made  them  forget  whatever 
humiliation  their  discomfiture  or  surrender  implied. 
Many  of  them  loved  art  and  literature,  and  their  presence 
added  to  the  magnificence  of  the  imperial  court  which  be- 
came famous  in  Asia  and  Europe,  and  by  their  levies  in- 
creased the  strength  of  the  legions  of  the  empire.  Most 
of  them  enrolled  themselves  as  mansabdars,  and  fought  in 
battles  and  sieges  shoulder  to  shoulder  with  Mughal 
officers.  They  secured  for  the  emperor  the  good  will 
of  Hindus  of  whom  they  were  the  acknowledged  political 
leaders.  Through  them  the  millions  of  Northern  India 
became  reconciled  to  Akbar's  government  and  prayed  for 
its  welfare.  It  was  they  who  aided  to  a  large  extent  the 
synthesis  of  religions  and  cultures  in  which  the  emperor 
took  delight,  and  by  their  acceptance  of  Muslim 
ideas  of  political  and  social  organisation  they  made 
possible  the  fusion  of  the  Hindus  and  Muslims.  No 
impartial  historian  can  fail  to  give  credit  to  these  pioneers 


of   Indo-Muharamadan    culture,    which  is  the   greatest 
legacy  of  the  Mughals  to  this  country. 

Hitherto  all  the  children  born  to  Akbar  had  died  in 
infancy,  and  it  was  his  great  desire  to  have  a  son  on  whom 

he  would  bestow  the  care  and  affection  of 
Prhice  s^iim?f    a  Iovin2  father.    Every  year  he  paid  a  visit 

to  the  Khwaja's  holy  shrine  at  Ajmer,  and 
vowed,  as  was  his  wont,  to  make  a  pilgrimage  on  foot,  if 
he  were  blessed  with  a  son.  Many  a  time  he  went  to 
Sikri  where  lived  Shaikh  Salim  Chishti,  the  venerable 
sage  whose  saintliness  and  austere  penances  drew  to  him 
many  admiring  disciples  from  far  and  near.  Early  in 
1569  it  was  reported  that  his  first  Hindu  wife,  the  daughter 
of  Raja  Bharmal  of  Jaipur,  was  with  child.  She  was 
removed  to  Sikri  for  confinement  with  all  her  attendants, 
where  on  August  30,  1569,  she  gave  birth  to  a  boy,  it  was 
believed  everywhere,  through  the  prayers  of  the  holy 
Shaikh.  The  child  was  named  Salim  after  the  saint, 
though  Akbar  always  addressed  him  by  his  pet  name  Shai- 
khu  Babg.  The  pious  father  fulfilled  his  vow  by  making 
a  pilgrimage  on  foot  to  Ajmer  in  1570,  and  presented  his 
offerings  at  the  shrine. 

The  blessing  of  Shaikh  Salim  Chishti  so  filled  the  heart 
of  Akbar  with  gratitude  that  he  decided  to  leave  Agra 

and  transfer  his  court  to  Sikri.    Here  in 

course  of  time  a  lar*e  ci*y  *rew  UP>  adorned 
and  beautified  by  the  emperor's  lavish 
bounty.  The  constructions  extended  over  nearly  fourteen 
years  and  reached  completion  in  1574.  The  Shaikh  died 
in  1572,  and  over  his  remains  Akbar  built  a  fine  mau- 
soleum of  pearls,  which  by  reason  of  its  elegance  and  deli- 
*cate  design  still  excites  the  wonder  and  admiration  of  art 


-critics.  The  Great  Mosque  which  is  supposed  to  be  a 
"  duplicate  of  the  holy  place  "  at  Mecca  was  finished  in 
1572,  and  is  one  of  the  finest  examples  of  Mughal  archi- 
tecture. But  nothing  excels  in  grandeur  and  stateliness 
the  Buland  Darwaza  or  Lofty  Gateway  which  was  com- 
pleted in  1575-76,  though  designed  in  1573,  to  commemorate 
the  imperial  conquest  of  Gujarat. 

It  was  after  the  conquest  of  Gujarat  that  the  city 
came  to  be  called  Fatehpur  though  the  emperor  had  given 
it  the  name  of  Fatehabad.  The  numerous  buildings  of 
this  noble  city,  erected  by  the  bounty  of  a  generous 
monarch,  are  still  visited  by  thousands  of  visitors  from  all 
parts  of  the  globe.  The  palaces,  baths,  reservoirs,  offices, 
halls  and  their  huge  corridors  make  the  deserted  city 
even  in  its  ruins  an  abode  of  romance  and  wonder,  which, 
while  enabling  us  to  form  an  idea  of  the  greatness  and 
glory  of  the  Mughals,  remind  us  forcibly  of  the  ephemeral 
nature  of  worldly  possessions  and  the  emptiness  of  all 
our  earthly  vanities. 

The  emperor  lived  at  Fatehpur  from  1569  to  1585  for 
about  17  years.  In  1582  the  dam  of  the  lake  of  Fatehpur 
was  broken,  and  the  whole  town  was  inundated.  He 
decided  to  leave  the  beautiful  city  and  transferred  the 
court  to  Agra  in  1585.. 

Having  conquered  Malwa  and  broken  the  power 
of  the  Rajputs,  Akbar  resolved  to  lead  an  expedition 
to  Gujarat.  The  province  had  been  con- 
°f  <luered  by  Humayun,  but  he  had  lost  it 
owing:  to  his  own  lethargy  and  inaction. 
Akbar  naturally  felt  desirous  of  recovering  the  lost 
province  of  his  father's  empire.  Besides,  Gujarat  was  a 
Jand  of  plenty  whose  prosperity,  fertility  and  wealth  had 


deeply  impressed  all  European  and  Asiatic  travellers  who 
had  visited  it.  The  ports  of  Gujarat  were  the  emporia 
of  trade  with  the  west  and  Broach,  Cambay,  and  Surat 
had  carried  on  lucrative  trade  with  the  countries  of  Asua 
and  Europe  since  the  earliest  times.  They  are  frequently 
mentioned  in  the  literature  of  the  ancient  Hindus  as. 
centres  of  sea-borne  trade,  and  it  was  for  this  reason 
that  ever  since  the  days  of  Mahmud  of  Ghazni  the 
Muslim  rulers  of  Hindustan  had  sought  the  conquest 
of  Gujarat.  The  ruler  of  Gujarat  at  this  time  was 
Muzaffar  Shah  II,  a  weak  and  incompetent  man, 
whose  authority  was  not  respected  even  by  his  own 

Muzaffar  was  a  king  merely  in  name,  and  all  real 
power  was  in  the  hands  of  certain  nobles.  The  whole 
country  was  in  a  state  of  complete  disorder,  and  its  most 
important  provinces  were  held  by  chiefs  who  were  anxious 
to  establish  their  own  independent  power.  Then,  there 
were  the  Mirzas  who  were  related  to  the  emperor,  and 
who  created  strife  and  offered  help  by  turns  to  rival 
chieftains.  Muzaffar  found  it  impossible  to  control  the 
forces  of  disorder,  and  when  Akbar  marched  against 
him,  he  fled  from  the  capital  and  took  refuge  in  a  corn 
field.  The  emperor  pitied  him  and  granted  him  a  paltry 
allowance  of  Rs.  30  per  month.  The  chiefs  of  Gujarat 
offered  their  submission,  and  Akbar  placed  the  town  of 
Ahmadabad  under  Khan-i-Azam  Aziz  Koka,  his  favourite 
foster-brother.  While  he  was  engaged  in  settling  the 
affairs  of  Gujarat,  news  came  that  one  of  the  Mirzas  had 
slain  a  certain  amir,  who  wished  to  pay  homage  to  Akbar. 
The  emperor  started  forthwith  to  chastise  the  rebellious 
Mirza,  and  inflicted  a  crushing  defeat  upon  him  at 


SarnaL l  This  victory  was  followed  by  the  siege  of  Surat 
which  surrendered  after  a  periopl  of  one  month  and 
seventeen  days.  The  Mirzas  again  stirred  up  strife,  but 
they  were  defeated  by  Aziz  Koka,  who  was  assisted  by 
the  chiefs  of  Malwa,  Chanderi  and  other  important  states. 
Having  subjugated  the  country,  the  emperor  returned  to 

No  sooner  did  the  emperor  turn  his  back  than  trouble 
broke  out  afresh  in  Gujarat,  and  the  imperial  garrison 
suffered  heavily  at  the  hands  of  the  local  rebels.  Akbar 
was  mightily  offended  at  this,  and  he  resolved  to  finish 
the  Gujarat  affair  once  for  all.  He  set  out  with  a  well- 
organized  force  for  Ahmadabad  where  he  reached  after 
an  arduous  journey  of  eleven  days.  The  Mirzas  were  up- 
set by  the  news  that  the  emperor  had  come  in  person  to 
deal  with  them.  They  were  severely  defeated  along  with 
their  allies,  and  the  emperor  commemorated  his  victory 
by  constructing  a  tower  of  human  skulls  which  numbered 
about  2,000. 

Akbar  was  now  complete  master  of  Gujarat.  There 
was  no  man  of  substance  left  to  challenge  his  authority, 
and  therefore  he  turned  his  attention  to  the  work  of  civil 
organization.  Arrangements  were  made  forthwith  for 
the  settlement  of  the  country,  and  Raja  Todarmal  was 
entrusted  with  the  management  of  the  finances,  which 
had  been  in  a  state  of  disorder  for  a  long  time.  He  made 
a  land  survey,  and  reorganized  the  entire  revenue  system 
so  that  the  country  yielded  a  net  annual  income  of  five 
millions  to  the  imperial  exchequer.  His  work  was  after- 
wards continued  by  another  able  officer  Shihab-ud-din 

1  It  is  five  miles  to  the  east  of  Kharia. 


Ahmad  Khan,  who  held  the  charge  of  the  province  front 
1577  till  1584  A.D. 

With  the  laurels  of  victory  on  his  brow,  the  emperor 
rode  back  to  Sikri  (October  5,  1573),  where  at  the  foot 
of  the  hill  he  was  accorded  a  grand  reception  by  his  nobles 
and  officers,  whose  vociferous  greetings  were  drowned  in 
the  noise  of  the  kettle-drums,  which  proclaimed  from  the 
portals  of  the  newly-built  Jam-i-masjid  the  happy  news  of 
the  conquest  of  one  of  the  richest  and  most  fertile  pro- 
vinces of  Hindustan.  The  new  city  which  the  emperor  had 
built  near  Sikri  was  henceforward  called  Fatehpur. 

Bengal  had  always  been  a  most  refractory  province 

of  the  empire  of  Delhi.    It  was  held  by  the  Afghan  chiefs 

in  the  time  of  Sher  Shah,  but  in  1564  Sulai- 

°f  man  Khan>  chief  of  Bihar»  occupied  Gaur, 
and  became  the  ruler  of  both  provinces. 
After  his  death  he  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Bayazid,  but 
he  was  murdered  by  his  ministers  who  placed  on  the 
throne  his  ytmnger  son  Daud,  whom  the  author  of  the 
Tabqat  describes  as  a  "  dissolute  scamp  who  knew  nothing 
of  the  art  of  governing.  "  The  possession  of  an  immense 
treasure  accumulated  by  his  father  and  a  large  army 
turned  the  head  of  Daud,  and  he  soon  incurred  the  wrath 
of  the  emperor  by  seizing  the  fort  of  Zamania  on  the 
eastern  frontier  of  the  empire. 

The  emperor  sent  Munim  Khan,  an  old  and  experienced 
general,  against  Daud  at  the  head  of  a  large  army,  but  in- 
fluenced by  his  friendship  with  the  rebel's  father  he  made 
peace  with  him.  The  emperor  highly  disapproved  of  his 
action,  and  ordered  him  to  prosecute  the  campaign  with 
greater  vigour.  When  Munim's  efforts  failed  against  Patna* 
the  emperor  himself  marched  to  the  scene  of  action.  Daud 


fled,  leaving  Patna  to  its  fate,  and  the  imperialists  entered 
the  city  in  triumph  without  encountering  any  opposition. 
Munim  Khan  was  made  governor  of  Bengal,  and  was 
invested  with  ample  authority  to  deal  with  the  situation. 
Daud  was  forced  to  make  peace,  but  his  restless  spirit 
again  got  the  better  of  him,  and  he  began  slowly  to  grab 
the  territory  which  had  been  snatched  away  from  him. 
Munim  Khan  who  was  already  eighty  years  of  age  died 
in  October,  1575,  and  his  death  gave  Daud  the  opportunity 
which  he  so  eagerly  desired.  He  gathered  his  forces 
again,  and  taking  advantage  of  the  situation  reoccupied 
the  whole  country. 

The  emperor  was  enraged  beyond  all  bounds  at  the 
news  of  Daud's  audadty.  He  sent  another  general  who 
routed  the  Afghans  in  a  battle  near  Raj  Mahal,  and  took 
Daud  prisoner.  His  head  was  cut  off,  and  was  sent  to  the 
emperor,  while  the  rest  of  his  body  was  gibbeted  at  Tanda. 

With  Daud  fell  the  independent  kingdom  of  Bengal 
which  had  lasted  for  nearly  240  years.  The  whole  country 
of  Bengal  and  Bihar  became  subject  to  Akbar,  and  was 
henceforward  governed  by  the  imperial  viceroys. 

Ran  a  Udaya  Singh  died  in  1572,  and  was  succeeded  by 
his  son  Pratap,  who  embodied  in  his  person  the  spirit  of 
Rajput  freedom.  He  called  to  his  mind  the 
with  deeds  of  Rana  Sanga  and  Rana  Kumbha,  his 
great  ancestors  who  had  held  aloft  in  their 
day  the  banner  of  freedom,  and  had  made  the  force  of 
their  arms  felt  by  their  Muslim  contemporaries.  He 
was  often  heard  to  exclaim  in  bitterness  and  sorrow, '  Had 
Udai  Singh  never  been  or  none  intervened  between  him 
and  Rana  Sanga,  no  Turk  should  ever  have  given  laws  to 
Rajasthan. '  He  saw  the  influence  of  the  poison  which 


was  insidiously  working  its  way  into  the  Rajput  society, 
and  while  his  fellow-princes  vied  with  one  another  in 
promoting  the  glory  of  the  empire,  he  resolved  to 
redeem  the  honour  of  his  race.  It  was  not  an  easy  task  ; 
in  the  event  of  war  he  will  have  against  him  not  only 
the  organised  might  of  Akbar  who  was  at  this  time 
'  immeasurably  the  richest  monarch  on  the  face  of  this 
earth, '  *  but  nearly  all  the  leading  chiefs  of  Rajputana, 
who  had  considerable  forces  at  their  command,  and  who 
were  desirous  of  seeing  Rana  Pratap  humbled  like  them- 
selves. The  chronicles  of  Rajasthan  relate  an  anecdote 
which,  whether  true  or  not,  illustrates  the  Rajput  mental- 
ity of  the  time  2  On  one  occasion,  when  Raja  Man  Singh 
of  Amber  was  returning  from  some  campaign,  he  sought 
an  interview  with  Rana  Pratap  on  the  bank  of  the  Udaya- 
sagar  lake.  A  feast  was  arranged  in  honour  of  the 
distinguished  Kachwaha,  but  the  Rana  did  not  attend,  and 
excused  himself  on  the  ground  of  indisposition.  Raja  Man 
divined  the  reason  of  his  absence,  and  said,  '  If  the  Rana 
refuses  to  put  a  plate  before  me,  who  will  ? '  The  Rana 
expressed  his  regret,  but  added  that  he  could  not  dine  with 
a  Rajput  who  had  married  his  sister  to  a  Turk,  and  had 
probably  eaten  with  him.  Stung  to  the  quick  by  this 
insulting  remark,  Raja  Man  left  the  dinner  untouched,  and 
observed  as  he  was  preparing  to  leave  the  place  ;  'It  was 
for  the  preservation  of  your  honour  that  we  sacrificed  our 
own  and  gave  our  sisters  and  daughters  to  the  Turk ;  but 
abide  in  peril,  if  such  be  your  resolve,  for  this  country 
shall  not  hold  you. '  As  he  leapt  on  the  back  of  his  horse, 

1  Akbar,  the  Great  Mughal,  p.  148. 

2  Annals,  I,  pp.  891-92. 


he  turned  to  the  Rana  who  appeared  just  in  time  to  hear 
the  remark  and  said  :  '  If  I  do  not  humble  your  pride, 
my  name  is  not  Man/  To  this  Pratap  replied  that  he 
should  always  be  happy  to  meet  him,  while  some 
irresponsible  person  from  behind  whispered  an  undignified 
rebuke  in  asking  the  Raja  not  to  forget  to  bring  his 
Phupha  (father's  sister's  husband)  Akbar  with  him. 

The  anecdote  goes  on  to  add  that  the  ground  on  which 
the  board  was  spread  was  washed,  and  Ganges  water  was 
sprinkled  over  it,  while  the  chiefs  who  were  present  bathed 
themselves,  and  changed  their  garments  to  wash  away  the 
pollution  caused  by  the  presence  of  one  whom  they  con- 
sidered an  '  apostate/  Such  were  the  sentiments  of 
Rana  Pratap  and  the  other  men  of  mighty  resolve,  who 
scorned  the  offers  of  wealth  and  power,  and  clung  to  their 
chief  with  a  devotion  the  memory  of  which  will  ever 
remain  a  proud  possession  of  their  descendants. 

The  Rana  who  foresaw  the  danger  at  once  took  steps 
to  organise  his  government,  and  devised  regulations  to 
make  his  army  more  efficient  and  better  equipped.  He 
strengthened  fortresses  like  Kumbhalmir  and  Gogunda, 
and  decided  to  adopt  the  method  of  guerilla  warfare  in 
dealing  with  the  Mughals. 

Abul  Fazl  speaks  of  the  Rana's  '  arrogance,  presump- 
tion, disobedience,  deceit  and  dissimulation,  '  but  it  was 
impossible  for  a  courtier  like  him  to  appreciate  the  great- 
ness of  Rana  Pratap  and  the  loftiness  of  the  purpose  for 
which  he  waged  a  life-long  war  against  the  empire. 
Dr.  Vincent  Smith  puts  in  a  nutshell  the  casus  belli  when 
he  says  : 

"His  (Rana  Pratap's)  patriotism  was  his  offence. 
Akbar  had  won  over  most  of  the  Rajput  chieftains 


by  his  astute  policy  and  could  not  endure  the  inde- 
pendent attitude  assumed  by  the  Rana  who  must  be 
broken  if  he  would  not  bend  like  his  fellows.  " 

Akbar  resolved  to  destroy  the  Rana's  independence 
and  to  annex  Mewar  to  the  empire,  and  in  this  task  he  was 
assisted  by  the  Rajputs  themselves.  The  Rana,  who  knew 
beforehand  the  danger  that  loomed  on  the  horizon,  vowed 
to  preserve  the  purity  of  bis  blood  and  once  more  ta 
uphold  the  traditions  of  the  Sisodias  by  sacrificing  himself 
in  the  service  of  the  land  that  gave  him  birth. 

Akbar  sent  Man  Singh  and  Asaf  Khan  in  April,  1576, 
from  Ajmer  against  the  Rana.  They  arrived  via  Mandal- 
garh  at  the  pass  of  Haldighat  where  a  great  battle  was 
fought.  The  historian  BadSonl  has  given  a  graphic  account 
of  this  battle,  which  will  be  read  with  great  interest.  He 
was  himself  present  on  the  field  of  battle,  and  writes, 
from  personal  observation.  The  Rana  came  out  of  the 
mountains  with  300  horse,  and  in  the  first  attack  the 
vanguard  of  the  imperial  troops  '  became  hopelessly  mixed 
up  together,  and  sustained  a  complete  defeat '  The 
Rajputs  on  the  Mughal  left  '  ran  away  like  a  flock  of 
sheep,  and  fled  for  protection  towards  the  right  wing/ 
It  was  on  this  occasion  that  the  historian  asked  Asaf 
Khan  how  they  were  to  distinguish  between  the  hostile 
and  friendly  Rajputs  in  such  a  confused  mass  whereupon 
the  general  replied,  'on  whichever  side  there  may  be 
killed,  it  will  be  a  gain  to  Islam.' 

The  Rana  retreated  into  the  hills  but  the  Mughals  did 
not  pursue    him.1  Next    day,  the  imperialists  reached 

1  It  is  related  by  BadSont  (Lowe  II,  p.  247)  that  the   emperor  was 
displeased  with  Man  Singh   because  he  did   not  pursue  the  Rana  and 


Gogunda  which  was  guarded  by  the  Rana's  men  who 
died  bravely  fighting  in  their  defence. 

The  Mughals  had  gained  a  complete  victory,  and  the 
bigoted  Badaon!  was  commissioned  by  Man  Singh  to  convey 
the  gladsome  tidings  to  the  emperor  at  Fatehpur.  Rana 
Pratap's  spirit  was  not  damped  by  this  defeat.  He  soon 
recovered  all  Me  war  except  Chittor,  Ajmer  and  Mandal- 
garh,  and  the  annals  relate  that  he  raided  the  state  of  Am- 
ber and  sacked  its  chief  mart  of  Malpura.  The  Rana  died 
in  1597,  and  the  final  scene  has  been  pathetically  described 
by  Tod.  The  dying  hero  is  represented  in  a  lowly  dwelling  ; 
his  chiefs,  the  faithful  companions  of  many  a  glorious 
day,  awaiting  round  his  pallet  the  dissolution  of  the 
prince,  when  a  groan  of  mental  anguish  made  Salumbar 
inquire,  "  what  afflicted  his  soul  that  it  would  not  depart 
in  peace?"  He  rallied.  "It  lingered,"  he  said,  "for 
some  consolatory  pledge  that  his  country  should  not 
be  abandoned  to  the  Turk";  and  with  the  death-pang 
upon  him,  he  related  an  incident  which  had  guided 
his  estimate  of  his  son's  disposition,  and  tortured  him 
with  the  reflection  that  for  personal  ease  he  would 

because  be  being  a  Rajput  himself,  did  not  allow  the  troops  to  plunder 
the  Rana's  country  When  the  news  of  the  distressed  condition  of  the 
army  reached  him,  he  sent  for  Man  Singh,  Asaf  Khan  and  Qazi  Khan 
from  the  scene  of  war  and  excluded  them  from  the  court  for  some  time. 
Nizamaddin  expresses  a  more  balanced  view  when  he  says  that  what 
displeased  the  emperor  was  that  they  would  not  allow  the  troops  to 
plunder  the  Rana's  country. 

Elliot,  V,  p.  401. 

The  cause  of  the  emperor's  displeasure  is  thus  described  by  Abu! 

*  Turksters  and  time-servers  suggested  to  the  royal  ear  that  there 
had  been  slackness  in  extirpating  the  wretch,  and  the  officers  were- 
'  ready  incurring  the  King's  displeasure.'  But  His  Majesty  understood 
the  truth  and  attached  little  value  to  what  the  backbiters  told  him. 


forego  the  remembrance  of  his  own  and  his  country's 
ivrongs.  At  this  time  Prince  Amar  whose  (Rana's 
son)  turban  was  dragged  off  by  a  projecting  bamboo 
in  the  hut  experienced  an  emotion  which  was  noticed  with 
pain  by  the  dying  Rana  who  is  reported  to  have  said : 
'  These  sheds  will  give  way  to  sumptuous  dwellings,  thus 
generating  the  love  of  ease  ;  and  luxury  with  its  con- 
comitants will  ensue,  to  which  the  independence  of 
Mewar,  which  we  have  bled  to  maintain,  will  be 
sacrificed  ;  and  you,  my  chiefs,  will  follow  the  pernicious 
example."  They  gave  the  needed  assurance  and 
solemnly  declared  by  the  throne  of  Bappa  Rawal, 
that  they  would  not  permit  mansions  to  be  raised  until 
Mewar  had  recovered  her  independence.  The  soul  of 
Pratap  was  satisfied,  and  with  joy  he  expired. 

Rana  Pratap  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Amar  Singh 
in  1597.  He  reorganised  the  institutions  of  the  state, 
made  a  fresh  assessment  of  the  lands,  and  regulated 
the  conditions  of  military  service.  The  Mughals  took  the 
offensive  again,  and  in  1599  Akbar  sent  Prince  Salim  and 
Raja  Man  Singh  to  invade  Mewar,  The  Prince  frittered 
away  his  time  in  the  pursuit  of  pleasure  at  Ajmer,  but 
the  v  aliant  Raja  aided  by  other  officers  did  a  great  deal. 
Amar  led  the  attack,  but  he  was  defeated,  and  his  country 
was  devastated  by  the  imperialists.  The  campaign  came 
to  an  end  abruptly,  when  Raja  Man  Singh  was  called 
away  by  the  emperor  in  order  to  quell  the  revolt  of 
Usman  Khan  in  Bengal.  Akbar  contemplated  another 
invasion  of  Mewar,  but  his  illness  prevented  him  from 
putting  his  plan  into  execution. 

Akbar 's  alleged  apostasy  of  which  an  account  will  be 
given  later  had  caused  alarm  in  orthodox  circles.  During 


the    years  1578-79  debates  were  held  at  Fatehpur  Sikri 

in  the  Ibadat  Khana  with  great  zeal  among^ 

eff°eo1t8C*f    the  protagonists    of    rival    sects.    Akbar 

had  himself  assumed  the  position  of  the 
Imam-i-jSidil,  and  read  the  khutba  from  the 
pulpit.    The  so-calledjr^l^lite^ 


and  civil^raised  a  storm  among  the  ulama.^  The  emperor'a 
3isSre^Sr3  oForthodoxy  ,  which  was  manifest  in  the  rulea 
and  regulations  issued  by  him,  further  exasperated  the 
learned  in  the  law,  and  produced  a  great  uneasiness  in 
the  minds  of  the  Muslims.  The  more  desperate  began 
to  devise  ways  and  means  of  getting  rid  of  the  heretical 
emperor.  It  was  in  such  a  position  that  Akbar  found 
himself  in  1580-81.  T^4??lf|^1^^ 
cwsed^jprofojandjdjsmay  in  orthodox  quarters,  and^$he 
history  of  the  rebellion^^tbat_  fpltoTOcf  is  closelyboiuid 
•  up  with  the  growth  pi  the  religious  policy 

emperor  adopted  under  theJnfluence  ol^EnsT  advisers^ 

Ithan-i-Jahan,  who  was  placed  in  charge  of  Bengal 
after  the  suppression  of  Daud,  died  in  May,  1579,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Muzaftar  Khan  Turbati  who  is 

in      degcribed    by  Nizamuddin    as    a    man    harsh 

in  his  measures  and  offensive  in  his  speech. 
The  imperial  Diwan  at  this  time  was  Shah  Mansur, 
an  expert  account  officer,  who  ordered  a  careful  enquiry 
into  all  titles  and  tenures  with  a  view  to  confiscate  all 
unauthorised  holdings.  The  new  regulations  were  en- 
forced in  Bengal  with  great  severity.  What  caused  dis- 
content among  the  Jagirdars  was  the  evident  injustice  of 
the  method  of  assessment  followed  by  the  administration. 
Each  case  was  not  examined  on  the  merits  but  an  average 


was  fixed  which  meant  that  every  Jagirdar,  whether  his 
title  was  valid  or  not,  had  to  restore  some  extra  land  to 
the  crown  or  to  pay  for  it.  The  result  of  this  was  that  the 
assessed  value  of  Jagirs  in  Bengal  rose  by  one- fourth  and 
of  those  in  Bihar  by  one-fifth.  There  was  another  'griev- 
ance. Having  regard  to  the  bad  climate  of  Bengal. 
Akbar  had  increased  the  allowances  of  soldiers  serving  in 
Bengal  and  Bihar.  Mansur,  who  was  a  strickler  for  admi- 
nistrative uniformity,  reduced  these  allowances  by  50  per 
cent  in  Bengal  and  by  30  per  cent  in  Bihar.  Even  the 
Sayurghnl  lands  were  not  exempt  from  this  inquest,  and 
the  ulama  were  greatly  agitated  over  what  they  regarded 
as  an  improper  interference  with  their  sacred  rights. 

There  was  yet  another  cause  which  aggravated  the 
turmoil  in  the  east.  It  was  the  emperor's  religious  policy, 
and  Abul  Fazl  clearly  states  that  the  establishment  of  the 
principle  of  universal  toleration  (Sulh-i-Kul)  was  looked 
upon  by  the  unthinking  people  as  an  abandonment  of  Islam. 
TheQaziof  Jaunpur,  Mulla  Muhammad  Yazdi,  had  issued  a 
fatwa  (a  solemn  declaration)  early  in  1580,  declaring  it 
lawful  for  Muslims  to  take  up  arms  against  the  emperor 
whose  measures  threatened  the  very  existence  of  Islam  in 
India.  With  these  causes  at  work,  the  actual  outbreak 
of  rebellion  could  not  be  long  delayed  in  the  east. 

The  immediate  cause  of  the  revolt  was  the  harsh  policy 
of  Muzaffar.  He  deprived  the  amirs  of  their  jagirs,  and 
enforced  the  dagh  system  with  needless  severity.  The  first 
to  revolt  were  the  Qaqshals,  an  important  Chaghtai  tribe, 
whose  leader-Bab^  Khan  resented  the  demand  of  the  dagh 
tax.  Muzaffar's  insulting  language  towards  Baba  Khan 
roused  the  ire  of  the  whole  clan,  and  the  Turks  advanced 
upon  the  city  of  Gaur  with  arms  in  their  hands,  and 


destroyed  the  property  of  the  governor.  They  were  joined 
by  others  who  had  their  own  grievances  against  the  state. 
The  emperor,  on  hearing  the  news  of  the  revolt,  sent  Raja 
Todarmal  with  some  other  officers  to  restore  order  in  the 
province,  but  they  failed.  Soon  after  Muzaff ar  was  put  to 
death,  and  the  whole  country  of  Bengal  and  Bihar  fell  into 
the  hands  of  the  rebels.  Todarmal  tried  to  conciliate  the 
rebels  but  failed.  They  gathered  so  much  strength  that  the 
imperial  general  had  to  shut  himself  up  for  four  months  in 
the  fort  of  Mungher  which  was  besieged  by  them.  The 
emperor  sent  Aziz  Koka  to  Bengal,  and  the  two  generals 
with  their  combined  forces  crushed  the  Qaqshals.  But  soon 
after  this  a  new  danger  appeared  on  the  horizon.  This 
was  the  rebellion  of  Masum  Farankhudi,  the  -  Jagirdar  of 
Jaunpur.  He  was  defeated  by  Shah  Baz  Khan,  and  com- 
pelled to  seek  refuge  in  the  Siwalik  hills.  Through  the  good 
offices  of  Aziz  Koka  the  emperor  pardoned  him,  but  he  did 
not  live  long  to  enjoy  the  imperial  favour.  He  was  mur- 
dered by  a  man  who  had  a  private  grudge  against  him. 
Fighting  went  on  in  the  east,  but  the  force  of  the  rebel- 
lious movement  was  considerably  weakened. 

More  serious  than  the  rebellion  in  the  east  was  the 
invasion  of  Muhammad  Hakim,  Akbar's  brother,  who  ruled 
at  Kabul.  Mirza  Hakim's  mind  was  inflam- 
^phedeitioKnaabnd  *  **  the  '  idle  talk  of  the  rebels  of  the 
the  execution  eastern  provinces  '  who  made  no  secret  of 
Manser! WaJ  *  ^eir  designs  to  place  him  on  the  throne  of 
Hindustan  in  place  of  his  heretical  brother. 
Akbar  was  informed  of  Hakim's  designs,  but  he  had 
always  overlooked  his  faults  saying,  "He  is  a  memorial 
of  H.  M.  Jahanbani  (Humayun  Padshah).  A  son  can  be 
acquired  but  how  can  a  brother  be  obtained  ?  "  The 


Bengal  rebels  were  not  alone  in  opening  negotiations* 
with  Hakim;  they  were  joined  by  certain  officials  of  Akbar'a 
court,  one  of  whom  was  the  Diwan  of  the  empire,  Khwaja 
Mansur.  The  conspirators  had  pledged  their  adhesion  to  a 
bad  cause.  Hakim  was  a  debauchee  and  a  drunkard  'wholly 
incapable  of  meeting  his  brother  either  in  statecraft  or  in 
the  field/  The  court  officials  were  opportunists  or  turn- 
coats, who  will  have  no  qualms  of  conscience  in  transfer- 
ring their  allegiance  to  the  man,  who  established  his  title 
to  the  throne  by  success  in  battle. 

What  was  Hakim's  motive  ?  Nizamuddin  clearly  states 
that  he  set  out  from  Kabul  with  the  object  of  conquering 
Hindustan.  In  the  middle  of  December  1580,  Hakim  sent 
one  of  his  officers  to  invade  the  Punjab,  but  he  was  driven 
back.  A  second  inroad  followed  under  Shadman,  but  he 
l^as  defeated  and  killed  by  Raja  Man  Singh.  In  Shadman  '& 
baggage  were  discovered  three  letters  from  Mirza  Hakim, 
one  of  which  was  addressed  to  Shah  Mansur,  purporting  to 
be  a  reply  to  an  invitation  to  invade  Hindustan.  Man 
Singh  sent  these  letters  to  the  emperor  who  did  not  disclose 
their  contents  to  any  one. 

After  Shadman 's  repulse,  the  Mirza  himself  marched 
into  the  Punjab  at  the  head  of  15,000  cavalry  and  advanc- 
ed upon  Lahore.  All  attempts  to  induce  the  local  chiefs  to- 
join  him  having  failed,  the  Mirza  hastily  withdrew  to  his 

On  hearing  the  news  of  the  Mirza's  advance,  Akbar 
reluctantly  decided  to  march  against  him.  He  gathered  a 
force  consisting  of  about  50,000  cavalry,  500  elephants  and 
countless  infantry.  To  guard  himself  against  conspiracy 
the  emperor  took  Khwaja  MansOr  with  him,  and  princes 
Salim  and  Mured  also  accompanied  him.  When  the  army 


reached  Panipat,  Malik  Sani  Kabuli,  Diwan  of  Mirza 
Hakim  came  to  the  imperial  camp,  and  stayed  with  the 
Khwaja  and  through  him  opened  communications  with 
the  emperor  against  his  master.  The  emperor's  suspicions 
against  the  Khwaja  were  confirmed.  Another  batch  of 
letters  was  discovered  which  convinced  the  emperor  of  the 
Khwaja's  guilt,  and  he  ordered  him  without  further  en- 
quiry to  be  hanged  on  a  tree  to  the  great  joy  of  the  officers 
of  the  state,  who  had  their  own  grievances  against  him. 

Akbar  continued  his  march  towards  Ambala  and 
Sarhind,  and  crossed  the  Indus  on  his  way  to  Kabul. 
Prince  Salim  entered  the  Khaibar  Pass  and  marched  upon 
Jalalabad,  while  Murad  advanced  towards  Kabul.  The 
Mirza  attacked  him,  but  he  was  defeated  and  put  to  flight. 
When  the  emperor  heard  that  Hakim  intended  to  take 
refuge  with  the  Uzbegs,  he  pardoned  his  offences,  and 
restored  his  kingdom  to  him  on  condition  that  he  will 
remain  faithful  to  his  sovereign. '  The  success  of  the  Kabul 
expedition  was  a  great  blow  to  the  orthodox  rebels,  and 
henceforward  the  emperor  was  free  to  deal  with  religion 
as  he  liked 

1  Dr.  V.  Smith  relying  upon  Monserrate  says  (Akbar,  p.  200)  that 
Kabul  was  not  conferred  upon  Hakim  directly.  As  he  did  not  wait  on 
the  emperor  in  person,  it  was  offered  to  his  sister  the  wife  of  Khwaja 
Hasan  of  Badakhshan,  when  she  came  to  see  him.  She,  however,  allowed 
Hakim  to  recover  quiet  possession  of  the  country.  Abul  Fazl  does  not 
mention  this.  Nizamuddin  supports  Abul  Fazl  by  saying  (Elliot,  V,  p.  426) 
that  His  Majesty  having  conferred  Kabul  rmmj  frfiril"  I!n1~Trn  turned 
towards  Hindustan.  From  Akbar's  attitud^TO^|SiSa!™^  think  that 
the  Indian  historians  are  right.  AgajX^tfofwWcvV^Sliave  the 
statement  of  Abul  Fazl  (A.  N.  Ill,  jpwffrjfa'ftogTJ^ 
emperor  that  he  regretted  that  he  coufil  notllmng  his  sisteund  IQrwaja 
Hasan  to  make  apology  for  him,  for  ifteJ9p£JB,  out  of  /ear  &&£  on\eeing 
his  evil  day,  gone  to  Badakhshan. 

There  is  no  reason  why  Abul  Fa 
the  truth   in  a  matter  like  this. 
Uzbeg  further  explains  Akbar's  lenid 


A  word  may  be  said  about  Khwaja  Mansur's  death. 
He  was  executed  hastily  without  sufficient  proof.  The 
letters  were  not  examined  with  care,  and  na 
attempt  was  made  to  identify  the  Khwaja's 
handwriting.  The  letters  seized  by  Man 
Singh  in  Shadman's  baggage  do  not  seem  to  have  been  of 
a  serious  nature  for  on  their  discovery  the  emperor  took 
no  action  against  the  culprit,  and  kept  the  contents  to 
himself.  The  last  letters  which  sealed  the  fate  of  the 
Khwaja  were  a  clear  forgery,  as  is  proved  by  the 
evidence  of  Nizamuddin  who  was  an  eye-witness  of 
these  events.  He  was  present  in  the  royal  camp.  There 
is  no  evidence  to  prove  that  the  earlier  letters  were 
genuine,  and  Dr.  Smith  uncritically  accepts  Monserrate's 

It  is  difficult  to  set  aside  Nizamuddin  who  positively 
states  that  the  emperor  regretted  his  execution  of  the 
Khwaja.  Regarding  the  early  letters,  Abul  Fazl,  who  is 
not  in  any  way  partial  to  the  Khwaja,  says  that  the 
sovereign  regarded  them  as  the  work  of  forgers,  and  for 
this  reason  did  not  show  them  to  the  Khwaja  Dr.  Smith 
convicts  the  Khwaja  on  the  evidence  of  the  first  batch  of 
letters  which  Abul  Pazl  unequivocally  describes  as 
forgeries.  We  cannot  accept  Monserrate's  account  in  the 
face  of  two  contemporary  writers  one  of  whom  says 
clearly  that  the  first  batch  of  letters  (which  Smith  holds 
to  be  genuine)  was  a  forgery  and  the  other  who  asserts 
that  the  last  batch  of  letters  on  the  evidence  of  which  the 
Khwaja  was  executed  was  forged  by  his  enemies.  The  real 
explanation  of  the  Khwaja's  death  is  to  be  found  in  his  own 
unpopularity  and  the  jealousy  of  his  fellow-officers.  Abul 
Fazl  says  that  from  love  of  office  and  cupidity  he  waa 


always  laying  hold  of  trifles  in  financial  matters  and 
displaying  harshness.  Those  who  felt  aggrieved  by  his 
harsh  policy  committed  forgeries  to  bring  about  his  fall. 
The  emperor  found  himself  in  a  difficult  situation.  He 
was  threatened  with  the  invasion  of  his  kingdom,  and 
hence  no  scrutiny  was  ordered  into  the  correspondence  of 
the  Khwaja,  and  he  was  forthwith  ordered  to  be  hanged. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Akbar  had  granted  a 
paltry  allowance  to  Muzaffar,  king  of  Gujarat,  when  he 
conquered  that  country.  Muzaffar  escaped 
Gujarat™ in  f rom  surveillance  in  1578,  and  took  refuge  at 
Junagarh  in  Kathiawad.  In  a  short  time 
he  collected  a  large  force,  and  with  its  help  captured 
Ahmadabad  in  September  1583,  and  proclaimed  himself 
king  of  Gujarat  He  seized  Cambay,  and  then  marched 
to  Baroda  which  he  easily  occupied.  Broach  followed  suit, 
and  the  vast  treasure  which  it  contained  was  seized. 
Probably  the  whole  of  Gujarat  fell  into  his  (Muzaffar's) 
hands,  and  his  force  quickly  numbered  30,000. 

The  emperor  was  disconcerted  by  the  news  of  Muzaf- 
far's success,  and  he  appointed  Mirza  Abdur  Rahim  as 
governor  of  Gujarat.  He  defeated  Muzaffar  in  the  battle 
of  Sarkhej  in  January  1584,  and  made  amends  for  the 
mistakes  of  the  previous  governors.  He  entered  the  capi- 
tal in  triumph,  and  pleased  all  by  his  urbanity,  tolerance 
and  culture.  Muzaffar  was  pursued  by  the  imperialists, 
and  was  again  defeated  at  Nadot  in  Rajpipla.  As  a  result 
of  this  battle  the  entire  mainland  of  Gujarat  fell  into  the 
hands  of  the  imperialists  except  Baroda,  which  was  also 
surrendered  after  a  prolonged  siege  of  seven  months. 

The  emperor  was  delighted  to  receive  the  tidings  of 
victory,  and  bestowed  lavish  favours  upon  his  officers,  who 


had  given  proof  of  their  loyalty  and  courage  in  Gujarat* 
Mirza  Abdur  Rahim  was  given  the  title  of  Khan-i-Khanan, 
and  was  promoted  to  the  rank  of  5,000.  The  emperor 
granted  him  also  a  horse,  a  robe,  and  a  jewelled  dagger 
as  a  mark  of  favour.  But  Abdur  Rahim  did  not  enjoy  the 
emperor's  bounty  alone.  Others  who  had  bravely  fought 
during  the  war  were  rewarded,  and  their  services  were 
duly  recognised.  The  Khan-i-Khanan  was  recalled  by  the 
emperor  in  August  1585,  and  after  his  departure 
Muzaffar  made  frantic  efforts  to  regain  his  power.  But 
he  was  at  last  captured  in  1592  by  the  imperialists. 
Finding  it  impossible  to  bear  the  humiliations  which 
he  thought  were  in  store  for  him,  he  ended  his  life  with  a 
razor  which  he  had  kept  concealed  on  his  person.  Aziz 
Koka,  the  imperial  general,  who  had  succeeded  Abdur 
Rahim  left  for  Mecca,  and  Gujarat  was  entrusted  to 
Prince  Murad. 

The  North-West  Frontier  problem  has  always  been  a 

source  of  great  anxiety  to  Indian  governments.    In  the 

thirteenth   and  fourteenth  centuries  when 

North-West  ^e  jy[ongOls  again  and  again  invaded  Hin- 
Po'iicy.  *  *  *  *  dustan,  the  rulers  of  Delhi  found  it  necessary 
to  take  effective  measures  to  safeguard 
their  frontier.  There  was  an  important  military  outpost 
at  Dipalpur,  which  was  once  held  by  such  a  redoubtable 
general  as  Ghazi  Malik,  better  known  in  history  as  Sultan 
Ghiyas-uddin  Tughluq.  Since  Balban's  day,  the  western 
frontier  had  always  been  guarded  by  distinguished  officers 
and  a  chain  of  military  outposts  was  erected  to  guard 
the  route  of  the  invader.  It  was  quite  natural  for 
Akbar  to  establish  his  firm  hold  on  the  countries  in  the 


The  elements  of  danger  were  two —the  Uzbegs  and 
the  wild  and  turbulent  Afghan  tribes  who  lived  all  along 
the  north-west  border.  Abdulla  Uzbeg  was  a  formidable 
rival,  and  was  likely  to  gain  the  sympathies  of  the  ortho- 
dox Sunnis  against  the  heretical  emperor.  The  tribea 
were  no  less  troublesome.  They  knew  nothing  of  the 
sentiments  of  honour  and  chivalry,  and  cared  nothing  for 
treaties  and  engagements.  Their  restlessness  always 
caused  disturbance  on  the  frontier,  and  Akbar  was  the 
first  to  curb  their  unruly  habits.  The  task  though 
extremely  difficult  was  accomplished,  when  Mughal  arms 
were  reinforced  by  Rajput  valour  and  skill.  Mirza  Hakim 
died  of  his  excesses  in  July  1585,  and  Kabul  was  annexed 
to  the  empire.  The  government  of  the  country  was 
entrusted  to  Raja  Man  Singh,  and  the  imperial  generals 
were  sent  to  subdue  the  ruler  of  Kashmir  and  the  wild 
tribes  of  Swat  and  Bajaur.  The  Roshniyas1  were  defeated, 
and  their  enthusiastic  leader,  Jalal,  who  had  planned  an 
invasion  of  Hindustan  was  killed  at  Ghazni  towards  the 
close  of  1600.  His  wives  and  children  were  captured,  and 
his  brother  with  other  relatives  numbering  14,000  was  sent 
to  the  court 

Another  tribe  which  caused  much  trouble  was  that 
of  the  Yusufzais,  whom  it  was  necessary  to  suppress,  in 
order  to  deprive  Abdulla  Uzbeg  of  an  opportunity  of 
fishing  in  troubled  waters.  Zain  Khan  and  Raja  Birbal 
marched  against  them,  but  their  mutual  quarrels  greatly 

1  The  Roshmyas  were  the  followers  of  Bayazid,  a  religious  fanatic 
who  preached  doctrines  subversive  of  the  religion  of  the  Prophet  of 
Arabia.  He  claimed  to  be  a  prophet  himself  and  attached  no  impor- 
tance to  the  teachings  of  'the  Quran. 


hampered  the  progress  of  military  operations.  The 
Afghans  profited  by  the  divided  counsels  of  the  imperial 
generals,  whom  they  attacked  with  great  force  with 
arrows  and  stones.  Nearly  8,000  soldiers  were  killed,  and 
Raja  Birbal  was  himself  among  the  slain.  The  emperor 
was  deeply  grieved  to  hear  of  the  death  of  his  dear  friend, 
and  for  two  days  and  nights  he  did  not  eat  or  drink  any- 
thing. After  this  disaster  Raja  Todarmal  and  Prince 
Murad  were  sent  against  the  Afghans  at  the  head  of  a 
large  army.  Todarmal  succeeded  in  crushing  the  rebels 
completely,  and  Abul  Fazl  records : 

"A  large  number  were  killed,  and  many  were  sold 
into  Turan  and  Persia.  The  country  of  Sawad  (Swat), 
Bajaur  and  Buner  which  has  few  equals  for  climate, 
fruits  and  cheapness  of  food,  were  cleansed  of  the 
evil  doers. " 

The  success  of  the  imperialists  made  a  great  impres- 
sion upon  Abdulla  Uzbeg  who  was  now  convinced  of  the 
impossibility  of  the  Indian  conquest.  He  opened  friendly 
negotiations,  and  sent  his  envoy  to  wait  upon  the 

Raja  Bhagwan  Das  was  sent  by  the  emperor  at  the 
head  of  5,000  men  to  accomplish  the  conquest  of  Kashmir. 
The  moment  was  opportune,  for  the  Rosh- 
Ka°sE? i68e!  niy»s  and  *he  Yusufzais  had  been,  by  this 
time,  put  down,  and  Abdulla' s  party  at 
Kabul  was  paralysed  by  the  vigour  and  enterprise  of  the 
imperialists.  The  Raja  along  with  Qasim  Khan  pressed 
on  in  spite  of  difficulties,  and  compelled  Yusuf ,  the  king 
of  Kashmir,  to  submit.  Yusuf 's  son  Yaqub  escaped  from 
custody,  and  desperately  struggled  in  vain  to  check  the 
advance  of  the  invaders.  He  was  defeated  and  compelled 


to  surrender.  Kashmir  was  annexed  to  the  empire,  and 
made  a  part  of  the  Suba  of  Kabul.  Yaqub  and  his  father 
were  sent  as  prisoners  to  Bihar,  and  were  placed  under 
the  custody  of  Raja  Man  Singh  who  was  transferred  to  the 
charge  of  Bengal.  The  emperor  paid  a  personal  visit  to 
Kashmir  in  the  summer  of  1589,  and  made  arrangements 
for  the  proper  administration  of  the  country.  On  his 
way  back  he  received  at  Kabul  the  news  of  the  deaths  of 
Rajas  Bhagwan  Das  and  Todarmal 

In  Northern  India  only  Sindh  and  Bilochistan  were 

still  outside  the  pale  of  the  empire.  The  island  of  Bhakkar 

had  been  subdued  in  1574,  but  a  large  part 

Conquest  of    Of  southern  Sindh  was   still  independent 

•Sindh,       1691  ,  .    ,  .  .       ,     ,  .... 

A.D.  The  emperor  highly  valued  the  acquisition 

of  Sindh  and  Bilochistan,  for  they  would 
furnish  him  with  an  excellent  point  d'  appui  for  the  con- 
quest of  Qandhar.  In  1590  Mirza  Abdur  Rahim  was 
appointed  governor  of  Multan,  and  ordered  to  extinguish 
the  independence  of  the  principality  of  Thatta,  ruled  at 
this  time  by  Mirza  Jani,  the  Tar  khan.  He  was  defeated 
in  two  well  contested  engagements,  and  was  compelled 
to  surrender  both  Thatta  and  the  fort  of  Sehwan.  Jani 
Beg  was  taken  to  the  court,  and  through  the  good  offices 
of  the  Khan-i-Khanan  he  was  treated  with  consideration. 
The  principality  of  Thatta  was  restored  to  him  as  a  mark 
of  royal  clemency,  and  he  was  elevated  to  the  rank  of  a 
grandee  of  5,000. 

Akbar  had  long  desired  the  possession  of  Qandhar 
which  was  the  key  to  the  north-western  position.  It  was 
not  difficult  to  conquer  it  as  the  Shah  was 
troubled  at  this  time  by  the  Turks  and  the 
Uzbegs,  who  were   constantly    fomenting 


strife  in  his  dominions.  It  was  this  weakness  of  the  Shah 
which  induced  the  emperor  to  send  an  expedition  against 
Qandhar.  The  campaign  was  opened  in  1590,  but  the 
final  conquest  was  not  accomplished  until  1595,  when 
Qandhar  was  annexed  to  the  empire  without  disturbing 
the  friendly  relations  with  the  Shah.  It  was  undoubtedly 
a  master-stroke  of  diplomacy. 

Towards  the  north-west  the  demonstration  of  the 
military  strength  of  the  empire  had  produced  a  good  im- 
pression on  Abdulla  Uzbeg.  He  dreaded  a  combination 
of  Akbar  and  Shah  Abbas  against  himself,  and  the  con- 
clusion of  Akbar's  campaigns  must  have  given  him 
much  satisfaction.  Henceforward,  he  tried  to  maintain 
friendly  relations  with  the  empire.  There  was  no  possibility 
of  an  Uzbeg  invasion  of  India  and  of  taking  advantage 
of  the  emperor's  difficulties  with  his  own  co-religionists. 

Having  made  himself  master  of  the  whole  of  Hindus- 
tan and  the  Afghan  regions  beyond  the  Hindukush, 
Akbar  turned  towards  the  Deccan.  It  was 
the  dissensions  of  the  Muhammadan  king- 
doms which  paved  the  way  for  the  conquest. 
The  first  to  bear  the  brunt  of  the  imperial  force  was 
the  small  state  of  Ahmadnagar  which  was  torn  by  internal 
dissensions.  Taking  advantage  of  these  quarrels,  the 
Mughals  laid  siege  to  Ahmadnagar,  but  they  encountered 
a  formidable  resistance  at  the  hands  of  the  famous  prin- 
cess Chand  Bibi,  sister  of  Burhan  Nizam  Shah.1  The 

1  Burhan  Nizam  Shah  II  died  on  April  13,  1595,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  son  Ibrahim  Nizam  Shah  who  was  not  liked  by  a  majority  of  the 
Amirs,  because  he  was  born  of  an  African  woman.  Ibrahim  was  slain  in- 
a  battle  against  the  Bijapuris  on  August  7,  1505,  and  his  Wazir  Miyan, 
Manjhu  raised  to  the  throne  a  supposition  son  of  Muhammad  Khuda- 
banda,  sixth  son  of  Burhan  Nizam  Shah  I  (1509 — 53)  and  imprisoned 


gallant  princess  herself  conducted  the  defence,  and 
throughout  the  siege  displayed  uncommon  powers  of  com- 
mand and  organisation.  Treachery  at  last  brought  about 
her  fall.  She  was  murdered,  and  the  town  was  captured 
by  assault  in  1600,  and  Ahmadnagar  was  annexed  to  the 
empire.  There  are  few  examples  of  such  heroism  and 
self-sacrifice  in  Mughal  history,  and  Chand  Bibi  is  still 
remembered  for  her  courageous  attempt  to  roll  back  the 
tide  of  Mughal  conquest  in  the  deccan. 

Miran  Bahadur,  the  new  ruler  of  Khandesh,  enter- 
tained no  friendly   feelings  towards  the  Mughals,   and 
felt  anxious  to  shake  off  the  imperial  yoke. 
Aelrgarh.6  °f      The  emperor  had  already  occupied  Burhan- 
pur,  but  Miran  relied  for  his  safety  upon  the 
fortress  of  Asirgarh  which  was  deemed  impregnable  in 
the  south.    It  commanded  the  main  road  to  the  Deccan. 

There  are  three  conflicting  accounts  of  the  siege 
given  by  Abul  Fazl,  Faizi  Sarhindi,  and  the  Jesuits  of 
which  the  last  has  been  accepted  in  its  entirety  by  Dr. 
Vincent  Smith  But  there  is  no  reason  why  the  account 
of  the  Jesuits  should  be  preferred  to  that  of  the  Muslim 
historians.  There  is  an  air  of  unreality  about  the  Jesuit 
version,  which  will  be  easily  understood  by  any  one  used 
to  weigh  historical  evidence. 

Abul  Fazl's  version,  shorn  of  its  verbiage,  establishes 
these  facts.  Some  time  after  the  siege  sickness  broke 
out  in  the  fortress  which  caused  many  deaths.  The 

Bahadur,  son  of  Ibrahim  Nizam  Shah,  in  the  fort  of  Jond.  The  African 
Amirs  who  knew  Ahmad  to  be  a  boy  of  spurious  origin  refused  to  recog- 
nise him  and  broke  out  into  open  rebellion.  They  gave  their  support 
to  Ohand  Bibi,  daughter  of  Husain  Nizam  Shah  I  and  widow  of  AH  AdiL 
Shah  I  of  Bijapur,  who  had  returned  to  Ahmadnagar  after  her  husband's 
death  and  who  now  espoused  the  cause  of  the  lawful  heir,  the  infant 
Bahadur  Nizam  Shah.  Unable  to  cope  with  this  powerful  coalition  the* 
Wazir  Solicited  the  aid  of  Prince  Murad  who  was  then  in  Gujarat. 


capture  of  Maligarh  disconcerted  the  besieged  garrison 
by  stopping  their  exit  and  entrance.  Through  the  efforts 
of  certain  imperial  officers  an  agreement  was  made  with 
Bahadur  who  presented  himself  at  the  court.  The  garri- 
son was  tampered  with  by  the  besiegers,  and  Bahadur 
was  pressed  against  his  will  to  write  a  letter  to  his  men 
asking  them  to  make  a  surrender.  Reading  this  with  Faizi 
Sarhindi's  narrative,  we  may  be  able  to  reconstruct  a 
true  account  of  the  siege.  Bahadur  was  induced  to  open 
terms  with  the  enemy,  and  an  agreement  was  entered 
into  with  him  which  was  perhaps  violated  by  the  emperor. 
The  garrison  was  seduced  from  loyalty  to  Bahadur  by 
means  of  bribery  and  not  by  honeyed  words  as  Abul 
Fazl  characteristically  puts  it.  Bahadur  was  coerced 
when  he  was  in  the  hands  of  the  emperor,  to  sign  a 
letter  to  the  garrison  of  which  mention  has  already 
been  made.  The  surrender  was  in  part  influenced  also 
by  the  fall  of  Ahmadnagar  in  1600,  which  must  have 
greatly  damped  the  spirits  of  Miran's  captains  and  men. 
Dr.  Smith  charges  the  emperor  with  perfidy,  and  says 
that  he  employed  treachery  to  capture  the  fortress.  He 
disbelieves  the  Muslim  chroniclers  whom  he  accuses  of  de- 
liberate falsehood,  and  writes  that  they  invented  the  story 
of  the  epidemic  in  order  to  hide  the  treachery  of  their 
patron.  This  is  not  quite  correct. 

No  attempt  is  made  in  the  Akbarnamah  to  disguise  the 
fact  that  Bahadur  was  induced  to  come  out  of  his  fortress 
and  his  troops  were  tampered  with.  Dr.  Smith's  statement 
that  Abdul  Fazl  attributes  the  surrender  of  the  fort  to 
pestilence  is  wholly  unfounded.  The  Akbarnamah  does  not 
say  anything  of  the  kind.  It  simply  says,  the  garrison  was 
attacked  by  a  pestilence  which  killed  25,000  people. 


Dr.  Smith  looks  upon  the  pestilence  as  an  invention  to  hide 
Akbar's  treachery,  but  it  is  not  clear  why  all  these  writers 
should  indulge  in  wanton  falsehood.  Firishta  whose  sources 
for  the  Deccan  history  are  reliable  supports  Abdul  Fazl,  and 
says  that  on  account  of  congestion  in  the  fort  a  pestilence 
broke  out  which  '  swept  off  several  of  the  garrison.' 
Dr  Smith  attaches  little  value  to  the  Akbarnamah  of  Faizi 
Sarhindi,  because  he  uncritically  accepts  Prof.  Dowson's 
view  that  it  is  nothing  more  than  a  compilation  based  in 
part  on  the  Akbarnamah  of  Abul  Fazl,  Now,  a  comparison 
of  the  two  texts  will  make  it  clear  that  they  differ  materially 
from  each  other.  Faizi  says  many  things  which  are  omitted 
in  Abul  Fazl  whose  account  of  the  siege  is  a  highly  condensed 
one.  Dr.  Smith  condemns  in  strong  language  the  action  of 
the  emperor,  though  at  the  end  of  his  narrative,  he  adds 
that  such  practices  were  common  in  India  and  elsewhere 
in  Akbar's  age,  and  are  still  prevalent  in  Europe.  There  is 
no  need  to  set  up  a  defence  of  the  emperor's  conduct  during 
the  siege.  It  is  true  that  Bahadur  was  detained  in  the 
imperial  camp,  that  the  garrison  was  enticed  by  means 
of  bribery,  and  that  the  Sultan  was  coerced  into  writing 
letters  of  authority  for  the  garrison  to  surrender  against 
his  will.  Probably  the  emperor  was  excited  to  a  high  pitch 
by  the  stubborn  resistance  of  the  beleaguered  garrison,  and 
found  the  prolongation  of  the  siege  inadvisable  in  view  of 
Salim's  revolt  in  Northern  India.  The  prestige  of  the 
empire  also  demanded  that  Asirgarh  should  be  captured  by 
any  means.  Considerations  such  as  these  urged  the  emperor 
to  employ  bribery  to  gain  his  end,  and  in  apportioning  blame 
we  ought  to  bear  in  mind  the  difficulties  and  anxieties  of  a 
statesman,  whose  reputation  was  staked  on  the  success  or 
failure  of  a  single  siege. 


Akbar's  whole  career  of  conquest  may  be  conveniently* 
divided  into  three  periods,   the  conquest  of  Northern  India 
from  1558—76,  the  subjugation  of  the  North- 
W6St Fr°ntier  tribes  fr°m  158°— 96»    and    *h« 

conquest  of  the  Deccan  from  1598—1601  A.D. 

The  expansion  of  the  empire  began  early  in 
the  reign  (1558—60)  with  the  reconquest  of  Gwalior  in. 
Central  India,  Ajmer  in  the  heart  of  Rajputana,  and 
Jaunpur,  the  stronghold  of  the  Sur  Afghans  in  the  east. 
The  conquest  of  Malwa  was  effected  in  1561-62  by  Pir 
Muhammad  and  Adham  Khan,  and  the  fort  of  Mairta  in> 
Rajputana  which  commanded  an  important  military 
position  was  captured  about  the  same  time.  In  1564  the 
country  of  Gondwana,  ruled  by  the  noble  Rani  Durgavati, 
was  invaded  by  Asaf  Khan,  and  its  independence  was 
destroyed.  After  his  alliance  with  Bharmal  of  Amber,  the- 
numerous  chieftains  of  Rajputana  came  under  his  vassalage. 
The  first  to  be  conquered  was  the  fort  of  Chittor  in  1567, 
and  its  fall  was  followed  by  the  surrender  of  Ranthambhor 
and  Kalinjar,  and  the  submission  of  the  princes  of  Jesalmir, 
Bikanir,  and  Jodhpur.  Gujarat  was  annexed  to  the  empire 
in  1573  after  an  arduous  military  campaign,  and  was  entrusted 
to  Aziz  Koka,  the  emperor's  foster-brother  and  a  nobleman, 
of  great  ability  and  distinction.  This  was  followed  by  the: 
conquest  of  Bengal  in  1576  and  the  extinction  of  the 
independent  Afghan  dynasty.  Orissa  long  remained  outside 
the  empire,  and  was  conquered  sixteen  years  later  by  Raja 
Man  Singh  in  1592.  Having  mastered  the  Doab,  the  Punjab, 
Rajputana,  Bengal,  Gujarat  and  the  central  region,  the  em- 
peror turned  his  attention  towards  the  north-west.  Kabul 
passed  under  imperial  control  after  the  death  of  Mirza. 
Hakim  in  1585,  and  the  Yusufzais  were  suppressed  in  1586. 

$£:.: ..!?. ; M :  r 

f^O^AOa^/1^^    ^ J    *T*    ^  I 

-  10,  Malwi 

Lahore      11.  Behar 
Mu/tan     12.  Bengal 
Dolhi       13.  Khandes 
Agra        14,  Berar     j 
Oudh       15.  Ahmatfnagir 
Allahabad  16,  Orissa  | 


The  frontier  trouble  was  set  at  rest  by  the  conquest  of 
Kashmir  in  1586  and  the  separation  of  the  local  Muham- 
madan  dynasty.  The  imperial  cordon  was  completed  towards 
the  north-west  by  the  incorporation  of  Sindh  in  1591,  of 
Balochistan  and  the  coast  of  Mekran  in  1594  and  the  province 
•of  Qandhar  in  1595.  The  danger  from  Abdulla  Uzbeg  was 
at  an  end,  and  Akbar  felt  completely  secure  in  the  pos- 
session of  his  dominions.  The  Uzbeg  chief's  death  in  1598 
added  further  to  his  security  by  removing  from  his  path  a 
formidable  rival,  in  whom  were  centred  the  hopes  of  the 
orthodox  Sunni  revivalists,  and  by  the  close  of  the  year  the 
empire  included  the  whole  of  Kabulistan  and  Kashmir 
and  the  entire  northern  region  north  of  the  Narbada 
river,  from  Bengal  and  Orissa  in  the  east  to  Sindh  and 
Balochistan  in  the  west. 

Having  rid  of  all  his  rivals  in  the  north-west,  the 
-emperor  set  out  to  conquer  the  Deccan.  The  Nizam-Shahi 
kingdom  found  it  difficult  to  resist  the  advance  of  the 
Mughals,  and  after  the  death  of  Chand  Bibi  Ahmadnagar 
was  annexed  in  1600.  Finally,  the  capture  of  Asirgarh  in 
1601  completed  the  process  of  imperial  expansion  which  had 
begun  in  1558,  and  the  empire  became  the  largest,  the  most 
powerful,  and  the  richest  in  the  world. 

Akbar  was  by  nature  a  man  of  liberal  ideas  and  his  out- 
look on  social  and  religious  matters  was  considerably  chang- 
ed by  his  marriage  with  the  Rajput  princesses 
forms"'8  Ie"*  an(*  his  constant  association  with  Hindu 
officers,  thinkers,  and  religious  preachers. 
He  introduced  a  number  of  regulations  to  mitigate  the  evil 
influence  of  the  unwholesome  social  usages  that  had  existed 
in  India  since  the  beginning  of  Muslim  rule.  He  abolished 
the  enslavement  of  the  conquered  enemies,  and  issued  an 


order  that  no  soldier  of  the  victorious  armies  should  in  any 
part  of  his  dominions  molest  the  wives  and  children  of  the 
vanquished. '  Soon  after  his  marriage  with  the  princess  of 
Amber  he  remitted  in  1563  the  pilgrim  tax  which  yielded 
an  income  of  crores.  In  1564  the  emperor  abolished  the 
jJeziya  throughout  his  dominions,  and  by  doing  so  soothed 
the  hearts  of  the  Hindus  who  disliked  this  tax  more  than 
anything  else.3  Knowing  full  well  what  the  abolition 
of  such  an  impost  meant,  the  emperor  described  his  edict 
as  '  the  foundation  of  the  arrangement  of  mankind/  He 
carried  the  measure  through  in  the  teeth  of  the  opposition, 
of  his  statesmen,  and  revenue  officers  and  the  '  chatter  of 
the  ignorant/  3  The  system  of  administration  was  consider- 
ably reformed,  and  the  plans  of  improvement  were  formu- 
lated during  the  years  1573-74.  With  the  advice  of  Todar- 
mal  the  emperor  issued  the  branding  regulations,  and  put 
an  end  to  the  evil  of  the  Jagir  system  by  converting  the 
jagirs  into  crown  lands  and  by  paying  salaries  to  his 
officers.  *  The  imperial  mint  was  thoroughly  reorganised, 
and  the  new  regulations  ensured  the  excellence  of  the 
coinage.  The  coins  were  of  pure  metal  and  exact  weight, 
and  were  manufactured  by  skilled  workmen. 

The  emperor  did  not  neglect  social  reform.  He  condemn- 
ed the  practice  of  Sati,  and  issued  a  decree  that  no  woman 
should  be  burnt  against  her  will,  and  in  one  case  he  per- 
sonally intervened  to  save  the  life  of  a  Rajput  lady,  whose 
relatives  forced  her  to  perish  in  the  flames  along  with  her 

1  A.  N.,  II,  p.  246. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  316. 
8  Ibid.,  p.  316. 

*  A.  N.,  Ill,  p.  06. 


husband, l  In  every  city  and  district  *  vigilant  and  truth- 
ful '  inspectors  were  appointed  to  distinguish  between 
voluntary  and  forced  Sati  and  to  prevent  the  latter.2 
The  Kotwals  were  ordered  to  stop  the  evil,  and  one  of  the 
Ains  clearly  states  that  they  were  not  to  suffer  a  woman 
to  be  burnt  against  her  inclination.3  The  emperor  held 
highly  progressive  views  on  the  question  of  marriage.  He 
disapproved  of  marriage  before  the  age  of  puberty.  *  He 
looked  with  disfavour  on  marriages  between  near  relations 
and  high  dowries,  though  he  admitted  that  they  were 
preventives  against  rash  divorce  *  In  theory  he  condemned 
polygamy,  for  '  this  ruins  a  man's  health,  and  disturbs  the 
peaceo£ the  home. '  He  looked  upon  tne  marriage  oFold 
women  with  young  men  as  highly  undesirable,  and  appoint- 
ed  officers  to  enquire  into  the  circumstances  of  the  brides 
and  bridegrooms/'  His  views  on  educational  matters  were  < 
better  and  more  tolerant  than  those  of  other  Muslim 
rulers.  He  encouraged  the  study  of  Sanskrit,  and  extended 
his  patronage  to  Hindu  scholars.  Among  the  21  men  of 
learning,  placed  by  Abul  Fazl  in  the  first  class,  nine  are 
Hindus 7  Hindu  physicians  are  mentioned  in  the  Ain> 
and  one  Chandra  Sena  who  was  patronised  by  the  court 

1  When  Jayamal,  a  cousin  of  Raja  Bhagwan  Das,  died  in  the 
eastern  provinces,  his  widow,  a  daughter  of  Udaya  Singh  or  Mota  Raja, 
refused  to  be  a  Sati.  Akbar  rode  hastily  to  the  spot,  and  prevented 
her  relatives  from  compelling  her  to  burn  herself  on  the  funeral  pyre 
of  her  husband. 

a  Jarrett,  Ain,  III,  p.  42. 
3  Jarrett,  II.  p.  696. 

*  Ain,  I,  p.  277. 
6  Ibid.,  I,  p,  278. 

*  Ain,  I,  p.  278. 
1  Ibid.,  p.  638. 


is  described  in  the  Tabqat  as  an  excellent  surge3l&  Une 
innovation  which  was  much  disliked  by  the  orthodro  was 
the  Sijdah  or  the  ceremony  of  prostration  which  he 
encouraged  among  the  members  of  the  Din-i-Ilahi.1 
Abul  Fazl  writes  that  as  there  was  opposition  to  it  on 
the  ground  that  it  savoured  of  '  blasphemous  man- worship/ 
the  emperor  discontinued  it,  and  did  not  allow  even  his 
private  attendants  to  do  it  in  the  Durbar-i-am.z  But 
•even  he  admits  that  in  the  private  apartments  of  the  em- 
peror the  Sijdah  continued,  and  men  were  allowed  '  to 
participate  in  the  halo  of  good  fortune/3  Besides  these 
there  were  several  ordinances  relating  to  the  religious  and 
.social  practices  enjoined  by  Islam  which  will  be  discussed 
in  giving  an  account  of  the  emperor's  religious  views. 
The  first  Muslim  ruler  who  proclaimed  peace  and  good 
will  as  the  foundation  of  his  government  was  Sher  Shah 
who  effaced  all  distinctions  between  the 
otlheiTmdus.  Hindus  and  Muslims.  Akbar  went  farther 
than  Sher  Shah,  and  renounced  the  principle 
of  Sulh-i~kul  (universal  toleration)  which  at  once  went  to 
strike  deep  into  the  hearts  of  his  subjects  the  roots  of  his 
empire.  Under  the  influence  of  his  Hindu  wives,  he 
tolerated  the  Hindu  mode  of  worship,  and  openly  listened 
to  the  teachings  of  Hindu  saints  and  philosophers.  His 
marriage  policy  left  no  bitterness  behind  in  the  minds  of 
the  Hindus,  and  proved  a  healer  of  ancient  discords  and 
deep-rooted  antagonisms.  The  ladies  admitted  into  the 

1  Ibid,,  I,  pp.  168-9. 
*  Ibid.,  I,  p.  159. 

The  Sijdah   was   stopped   but  the  taslim   or  Cornish  continued 
throughout  the  reign. 

8  Ibid.,  p.  169. 


imperial  haram  were  accorded  the  highest  honours,  and 
the  emperor  lavished  his  care  and  affection  upon  them 
without  the  slightest  consideration  of  caste  or  creed. 
There  had  been  marriages  before  between  the  Hindus  and 
Muslims  in  the  north  as  well  as  in  the  south,  but  they 
were  not  accompanied  by  a  policy  of  conciliation,  and  their 
result  was  often  to  widen  the  breach  between  the  two 
parties.  Akbar'sjiolicy  is  in  striking  contrast  with  that 
of  Ghiyasuddm"^!^  or  theBahmam 

andfVijayanagar  kings.     The  Rajputs,   w1fu>  entered  into 

*~     *"'     '  •*  m^a+f"  ^^^"Hr 

marriage  ^reflations  with  Akbar,  were  treated  as  equals  for 
all  practical  purposes.  They  were  admitted  to  the  highest 
offices  in  the  state.  They  were  granted  mansabs,  and 
were  entrusted  with  the  command  of  the  most  important 
expeditions.  RajaBirbal,  Raja  Todarmal,  Raja  BhagwSn 
Das,  Raja  Man  Singh  were  the  trusted  servants  and 
intimate  friends  of  the  emperor,  who  fully  recognised 
their  talents  and  conferred  upon  them  the  highest  distinc- 
tions. The  results  of  this  policy  were  seen  in  the  improved 
methods  of  administration  and  the  willing  homage  of  the 
non-Muslim  population  all  over  Hindustan. 

Uncler  Akbar's  patronage  the  Hindu  JSSIUusjsoaredJx)  a 
highpitch,  ancl  the  Hmdu  mindjleyelc^^  f  ullestTex- 

tent.  It  \vas  not  only  Hindu  statesmen  and  generals 
who  contributed  to  the  glory  of  the  empire  but  also  the 
numerous  poets,  scholars,  musicians  and  painters  who 
flocked  to  his  court  and  looked  upon  it  as  a  privilege  to  seek 
his  favour.  Some  of  the  greatest  Hindi  poets  lived 
during  his  reign,  and  their  works  furnish  evidence  of  the 
•conditions  which  made  them  possible.  Akbar's  sympathy 
with  Hindu  religion  and  his  patronage  of  Hindi  literature 
made  a  deep  impression  upon  the  Hindus.  The  memories 

F.  26 


of  the  past  were  forgotten!  and  in  their  emperor  they  saw 
tKelirstTia^^  ^-~-     •— ~ 

''"^''liVIieir^^  he  placed  Salim  in 

charge  of  the  capital  and  asked  him  to  commence  operations 
against  Mewar  along  with  Raja  Man  Singh 
a*"1  Shah  Quli  Kh*n-  But  Salim  did  not  carry 
out  his  father's  orders.  His  impatience  to  seize 
the  throne  urged  him  to  make  an  attempt  at  usurping  the 
insignia  of  royalty  before  his  time.  When  he  was  reproached 
for  his  misconduct  by  the  dowager  queen  Mariyam  MakSnl, 
he  left  Agra  and  went  to  Allahabad  where  he  declared  his 
independence  and  bestowed  jagirs  and  titles  on  his  asso- 
ciates and  supporters.  Akbar,  on  hearing  the  news  of  this 
rebellion  in  the  Deccan,  returned  to  the  capital,  and 
issued  an  order  to  Salim,  who  was  advancing  towards  Agra, 
asking  him  to  dismiss  his  men  and  wait  upon  him  or  to 
go  back  to  Allahabad.  Salim  retreated  to  Allahabad,  but 
there  he  set  up  as  king,  and  opened  intrigues  with  the 
Portuguese,  and  solicited  their  assistance  in  his  designs 

The  emperor  in  this  crisis  summoned  Abul  Fazl  from 
the  Deccan,  but  the  latter  was  murdered  on  his  way  by  Bir 
Singh  Bundela  whom  Salim  had  hired  for  the  purpose  in 
August,  1602.  Akbar's  grief  was  terrible.  He  passed  24 
hours  in  a  writhing  agony  and  exclaimed,  '  If  Salim  wished 
to  be  emperor  he  might  have  killed  me  and  spared  Abul 

Akbar  sent  his  officers  to  punish  the  murderous  Bundela 
chief,  but  he  successfully  eluded  his  pursuers.  Salim  escaped 
punishment  through  the  good  offices  of  Sultana  SalimSS  Be- 
gum, who  brought  about  a  reconciliation  bet  ween  father  and 
son.  Out  of  his  usual  generosity  the  emperor  pardoned  his 
offence,  and  once  again  publicly  declared  him  as  his 


heir-apparent.  But  this  kindness  had  no  effect  on  Salim.  He 
went  to  Allahabad,  and  again  set  up  an  independent  state. 

Meanwhile  the  imperial  court  was  the  scene  of  the 
worst  intrigues.  A  plot  was  formed  to  deprive  Salim  of 
succession  to  the  throne,  and  was  joined  by 
against  Salim8.  such  grandees  of  the  empire  as  Raja  Man 
Singh  and  Aziz  Koka.  They  were  actuated 
by  personal  and  political  reasons  to  set  aside  the  claims  of 
Salim  in  favour  of  Khusrau,  Salim 's  eldest  son,  a  young 
lad  of  17,  who  had  married  Aziz  Koka's  daughter.  Khusrau 
keenly  interested  himself  in  the  schemes  of  the  con- 
spirators, and  disregarded  his  mother's  advice  to  give 
up  his  unfilial  designs.  Prince  Daniyal  died  of  the 
effects  of  intemperance  in  April  1604,  and  his  death 
removed  from  Salim's  path  one  more  rival.  But  he 
did  not  desist  from  his  evil  course. '  At  last  Akbar  started 
for  Allahabad  in  person  (August  1604)  to  chastise  the 
prince,  but  he  had  not  gone  far  when  the  news  of 
the  serious  illness  of  his  mother  obliged  him  to  come 
back  hastily  to  Agra.  Frightened  by  the  emperor's 
decision  to  deal  with  him  in  person  and  by  the  news  of  the 
conspiracy  of  Man  Singh  and  Aziz  Koka,  Salim  also  came 
to  Agra  with  the  ostensible  purpose  of  expressing  his 
sorrow  at  the  death  of  his  grandmother.  A  reconciliation 
was  brought  about  by  the  ladies  of  the  imperial  haram,  and 
Salim  was  pardoned  and  restored  to  the  honours  he  had 
enjoyed  before.  But  nothing  served  to  heal  the  breach 
between  the  prince  and  his  son  Khusrau,  who  continued 
to  thwart  his  father's  wishes  and  indulge  in  acts  of 
ungratefulness.  The  unworthy  conduct  of  these  princes 
greatly  disturbed  the  emperor's  peace  of  mind,  and  he 

1  Prince  Murad  had  already  died  in  May  1599  in  the  Deccan. 


fell  ill.  Fever  accompanied  by  diarrhoea  or  dysentery 
confined  the  emperor  to  bed,  and  in  a  few  days  his  condition 
became  so  bad  that  his  physicians  gave  up  all  hope  of 

Meanwhile  the  plot  to  supersede  Salim  had  been  going 
on.  The  leaders  of  the  conspiracy  tried  to  effect  their  pur- 
pose by  arresting  Prince  Salim,  but  he  proved 
too  clever  for  them.  Foiled  in  this  attempt, 
they  held  a  conference  of  the  nobles  and 
officers  of  the  realm,  and  openly  urged  the  supersession  of 
Salim  by  Khusrau.  The  proposal  was  opposed  by  several 
officers  on  the  ground  that  it  was  against  the  princi- 
ples of  natural  justice  as  also  the  laws  of  the  Chagtai  Turks 
to  set  aside  a  son  in  favour  of  a  grandson  The  opponents 
of  Salim  gradually  melted  away,  and  many  of  them 
gave  their  adhesion  to  the  prince  whose  claims  they  had 
so  stoutly  resisted  a  short  time  before.  Aziz  Koka  himself 
acknowledged  the  prince's  claim,  and  Raja  Man  Singh 
left  for  Bengal  with  Prince  Khusrau. 

Having  received  the  support  of  the  nobles  and  grandees 

of  the  empire,  Salim  screwed  up  courage  to  wait  on  his 

father.     Akbar's  malady  had  far  advanced, 

of      an(j  jt  wag  cjear   tjiat    tjje    en(j     was    not  far 

off.  He  could  not  speak,  but  he  retained 
enough  consciousness  to  understand  what  was  passing 
-around  him.  When  Salim  had  apologised  for  his  misconduct 
by  prostrating  before  him,  he  beckoned  to  him  to  don  the 
imperial  robes,  and  to  gird  himself  with  the  sword  of 
Humayun  which  lay  near  his  bed.  Salim  obeyed  the 
-command,  and  left  the  room  in  accordance  with  the  royal 
wish.  Soon  afterwards  the  emperor  died  early  in  the 
morning  on  October  17, 1605.  A  stately  funeral  was 


arranged  in  which  the  highest  dignitaries  of  the  empire 
took  part,  and  Salim  himself  like  a  dutiful  son  carried  the 
bier  on  his  shoulders  to  some  distance.  The  emperor's 
body  was  buried  in  a  tomb  at  Sikandara  which  he  had 
commenced  to  build  during  his  lifetime.  It  was  completed 
by  his  son,  and  still  remains  a  striking  example  of  Mughal 

Among  all  theJVIi^njJdn^  the  scegtre 

in  HinSu^iPTCtbar    was  the  most  liberfl^exponent  of 
religious  toleration.    The^lGth  cgntur^  waa 
tic?  of  rthceeage"     w^W^  an^kbarJ55S 

its  most  perf^rrepr^sentoUyC^The  ground 
had  already  been  prepared  for  him  by  Kabir,  Nanak,  Chai- 
tanya  and  other  reformers  who  had  inveighed  against  the 
tyranny  of  caste,  emphasised  the  unity  of  the  Godhead,  and 
pointed  out  the  utter  hollowness  of  distinctions  between 
man  and  man.  AtterBjrtg Iradjbeen  rogde  jnjthe  past  to  bring 
the  Hindus  and  Muslims, in  closer  contact,  and  although 
they  pai<yifi2ia^ 

sTirmesT  noapp^  of  "success  was  achieved 

in  the^el^Df^olitics.  T^g^still  stoqii^ apart  fiWjgach 
other,  and  the  Muslim  divines  still  i!QQl^ended±hat  any 
concession  t(^]^  jrrfj^ 

frS£[^  The  IJlamsT  dominated 

thTstate  and  acted  as  the  guides  of  rulers  and  statesmen. 
Akbar  who  fully  understood  the  centrifugal  tendencies  of 
Indian  history  saw  the  need  of  reconciling  the  Hindus  to 
Muslim  rule,  and  resolved  to  shake  off  the  yoke  of  the 
canonical  order  and  to  evolve  a  policy  which  would  ulti- 
mately lead  to  the  fusion  of  the  two  races. 

Besides  this  political  and  mundane  motive  there  was  the 
eager  craving  of    his  soul  to  know  the  truth.    BadSoni 


relates  that  often  in  the  early  hours  of  the  morning  he  would 
sit  on  a  large  flat  stone  of  an  old  building, 
.         which  lay  near  the   palace  at  Fatehpur  in 
a  secluded  spot  with  his  head  bent  over  his 
chest,  and  meditated  on  the  eternal    mystery.4lL.Jife.    His 

The  SunnT&T 

is,  aridTS'ufis'*Tieid  divergent  doctrines  and 
often  quarrelled  amongst  themselves.  He  hoped  to  end 
their  quarrels,  and  cherished  the  dream  of  arriving  at  a  syn- 
thesis of  the  warring  creeds  and  to  unite  into  an  organic 
whole  the  heterogeneous  elements  which  constituted  his 
vast  empire.  The  bigotry  of  the  Ulama  disgusted  him  and 
alienated  him  from  Islam.  He  developed  eclectic  ten- 
dencies, and  began  to  indulge  in  metaphysical  discussions,  the 
result  of  which  soon  became  manifest  in  a  complete  re- 
versal of  the  traditional  policy  of  the  Muslim  State  in  India. 
It  is  interesting  to  trace  the  history  of  the  development 
of  the  emperor's  religious  ideas.  First,  there  was  the 
influence  of  heredity  which  did  not  a  little 
to  make  his  attitude  liberal  in  matters  of 
faith.  His  father  and  grandfather  were 
never  orthodox;  his  mother  was  a  Shia  lady  who  impressed 
upon  his  imittLjn  .eariy  youth  the  value  and  necessity  _of 
toS^nce.  Then  there  was  his  marriage  with  the  Rajput 
princesses  whose-  entry  into  the  imperial  haram  by  means 
of  lawful  nikah  wrought  a  profound  change  in  his  life. 
The  emperor  continued  to  conform  to  the  Sunni  formulae 
in  all  outward  observances  until  1575*  but  a^eat_ghange 
camejN^^  SJ^&ikh  JftfehaigJ^^^  sons  Faizi 

and   Abul    Fazl,    who  ""were 

led  him^js&tj$y    from    orthodox    Islam, 


and  opened  to  him  a  new_  wqrld^  of  thought  and  action. 
Thgy  w~ercT^^  the  diverse  creeds  were 

only  manifestations  of  ^^de^rejo^^lcnow ^  thejruth^nd 
stress  upoiLthe^lK^ 
uponThe  forffis  jnjjh|cjhrthjg^^  The  Sufi  doc- 

trine "Imarfced  a  rebellion  against  the  letter  of  the  law,  and 
its  exponents  urged  free  thought  as  the  primary  condition 
of  spiritual  advancement.  Sufism  i$  very  much  like  Ved- 

"  *  '  «*  i>  *&•  *K>  ^  ^tr*"***™*®**^  t-f^iff  tn&fi&tflt**    I!" 

antic  philosophy,  which  teaches  that  the  individual  souls 

Sufismlrom  his  early  youth 
of  Mubarak  and  his  soj)&  who  were  assisted  in  their  endea- 
v^rs^^SEaikhlKjuddin  of  Delhi,  who  enjoyed  the  Emper- 
or's confidence.  Like^Jiis,  friends  he^desired  „  to  attain 
eternal  beatitude  T>y  having  direct  communion  with  the 

ve^n  °^  ^^e  emPeror  developed  as   time 

passed.  In  1575  ^(TorBferedTa  riew^BuiiHing  £obe  construct- 
ed  at  Fatehpur-Sikri  called  the  IbcLdat  kkana 
at  where  the  Professors  of  different  faiths  were 
to  assemble  and  to  hold  religious  discussions. 
Itjyas  Lto  be  '  a  refuge  for  Sufis  and  a  home^fpj*,  hgl^^men 
into  whiclx^none  should  __be  allowed  to  enter  but  Sayyads 
ofj^h^j^^^learned  men  and^Shaikh^nfferie  ftittie  pro* 
fessors  of  different  creeds,  BrahmansT^ains,  Parsis,  Chris- 
tians and  Muslims  from  all  parts  of  the  country  to  assist 
the  emperor  in  finding  a  solution  of  the  problem  that 
oppressed  his  soul.  The  author  of  the  Zabd-ut-tawarikh 
writes  that  he  gave  the  most  deliberate  attention  to  all 
that  he  heard,  for  his  mind  was  solely  bent  upon  ascer- 
taining the  truth.  To  the  assembled  doctors  he  said  :  "My 


sole  object,  Oh  Wise  Mullas!  is  to  ascertain  truth,  to  find 
out  and  disclose  the  principles  of  genuine  religion,  and  to 
trace  it  to  the  divine  origin.  Take  care,  therefore,  that 
through  the  influence  of  your  human  passions  you  are  not 
induced  to  conceal  the  truth :  and  say  nothing  contrary  to 
the  almighty  decrees.  If  you  do,  you  are  responsible 
before  God  for  the  consequences  of  your  impiety. "  The 
theological  debate jgagedjk^^  and  the  prota- 

gonists olTnval  sects  tried  to  tear  one  another  in  argument. 
They  found  it  difficult  to  control  their  passions  which  often 
burst  out  in  highly  undignified  scenes.  The  leaders  of  the 
orthodox  party  were  Shaikh  Makhdum-ul-Mulk  and  Shaikh 
Abdunnabi  whereas  the^  free  th]^JEere  ^represented 
by  such  men  as  Mubarak.  AbiiTFaiz,  Abul  Fazl  and  gaia. 

**£,   ^  *„,,    -        ,„-  .     -"-    '  -^  s.***yr  .  ^^^-^"^tiv^^^  .Df^****^.U*»#*f<*Lm***KK-rn''       j^T 

Blrbal.  The  orthodox  quarrelleoamong  themselves,  and  the 
most  notable  quarrel  was  that  of  these  two  Shaikhs, 
They  engaged  themselves  in  a  violent  controversy  in  which 
they  used  abusive  language  towards  each  other  to  the 
delight  of  their  opponents.  But  more  violent  and  bitter 
were  the  attacks  made  on  the  heterodox  section  by  the 
canonists,  who  waxed  eloquent  with  fury  in  denouncing 
their  ways  and  practices.  The  Shias  looked  on  with  secret 
satisfaction,  while  the  blows  were  delivered  upon  their 
Sunni  opponents,  and  helped  in  the  circulation  of  lampoons 
and  satires.  The  Mullas  expressed  their  disapproval  of  the 
manner  in  which  the  most  solemn  subjects  were  discussed, 
and  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  emperor  was 
present  throughout  the  discussions  they  often  indulged  in 
abusive  and  filthy  language.  Badfioni  has  described  the 
scene  in  his  own  way ; 

"  The  learned  men  used  to  draw  the  sword  of  the 
tongue  on  the  battlefield  of  mutual  contradiction  and 

Pillar  in  the  Diwan-i-Khas,  Fatehpur  Sikn 
To  /at  e  pa^e  408 


opposition,  and  the  antagonism  of  the  sects  reached 
such  a  pitch  that  they  would  call  one  another  fools  and 
heretics.  The  controversies  used  to  pass  beyond  the 
differences  of  Sunni  and  Shiah,  of  Hanafi  and  Shafi,  of 
lawyer  and  divine,  and  they  would  attack  the  very 
bases  of  belief.  "' 

His    Majesty    propounded  ^  s^^-jquisgtipns  Jo  the 
Musjim  doctors  of,  the  orthodox 

did  not  satisfy  him.  He  becam^onvip£&d.of 
th«  futility.  j>f  jthfiir^doctriii^anC  tonal  to 
other^teach^^for  li&ht.  There  were  Hindu. 
spiritualists  who*  explained  to  him  the  tenets  of  their  faiths^ 
and  urged  him  on  to  pursue  the  quest  of  truth  with  great- 
er enthusiasm  and  determination.  The  emperor  granted 
interviews  to  learned  Brahmans,  the  chief  of  whom  werfe 
Pursho  ttjanL.  ~and±JPebi  who  were  invited  to  explain  the 
principles  of  their  religion.  Debi  was  pulled  up  the  wall 
of  the  palace  in  a  ckarpai  to  the  balcony  where  the  emperor 
used  to  sleep,  and  suspended  thus  between  heaven  and  earth, 
the  Brahman  philosopher  '  instructed  His  Majesty  in  the 
secrets  and  legends  of  Hinduism,  in  the  manner  of  worship- 
ping idols,  the  fire,  the  sun  and  stars  and  of  reverencing  the 
chief  gods  of  the  Hindus—  Brahma,  Vi?nu,  Mahes,  Krisna, 
Rama  and  the  goddess  Mahamai.'  He  expounded  to  him, 
the  doctrine  of  metampsychosis  which  the  emperor  ap- 
proved by  saying,  *  there  is;  w^jreligion  in  which  the  doc- 
trine of  Jnmsn^ 

not  Brahmanism  alone  to  the  doctrines  of  wfiich  he  lent  a~ 
willing  ear.     Hejtgjj^equal  interest  in  Jainism,  Zoroastrian- 

and  SilcKism 
he  extended  av^grm  welcome. 

1  Al-Badaoni,  II,  p.  262. 


The_Jain  teachers  who  are  said  to  have  greatly  in- 
fluenced the  emperor's  religious  outlook  were  Hlravijaya 

BhSnuchandra  UpadKyaT 

l^  one  or  two  Jain  teachers 

always  remained  at  the  court  of  the  emperor.  From  the 
first  he  received  instructions  in  the  Jain  doctrine  at  Fateh- 
pur,  and  received  him  with  great  courtesy  and  respect. 
The  last  is  reported  to  have  converted  the  emperor  to 
Jainism,  but  this  statement  cannot  be  accepted  any  more 
than  the  belief  of  the  Jesuits  that  he  had  become  a  Chris- 
tian. Yet^the  Jajnsjjxercisedji,  far  j[reater  influencejyijhi§ 

^  Jesuits.  _  InJ.582^  the_em- 

fowhjsjCQiirtf  and  it  was  at 

*  w 

his  instance  that  hg  ^released  prisoner  a^ 
proEIbitecf    the     slaughter   of   animals  on    certain    days. 

*-   %    -'  ***,,*-**!«•**•  -4  ««^        ^v,*      ,,    ^v      »-Sf  ^  <  ,  „   ^    ^       ^,v,  „.*«,>  ^^         ^  * 

Eleven  years  later  another  Jain  teacher  Siddhachahdra 
paid  a  visit  to  the  emperor  at  Lahore,  and  was  fitly 
honoured.  He  obtained  several  concessions  for  his 
co-religionists.  The  tax  on  pilgrims  to  the  Satrunjaya 
hills  was  abolished,  and  the  holy  places  of  the  Jains  were 
placed  under  their  control.  In  sljgrtj  Akbar's  giyin&  up  of 
meatjndjhg^^  due 

to  the  influence  of  Jain  teachers. 

"^  The  Parsis  or  followers  lit  Zoroaster  also  attended  the 
imperial  court  and  took  part  in  the  religious  debates. 
BadSoni  writes  that  they  '  impressed  the  emperor  so 
favourably  that  he  learned  from  them  the  religious  terms 
land  rules  of  the  old  Parsis  and  ordered  AbuLJfcz]  to  make 
'arrangements  that  sacred  fire  should  be  kept  burning  at 
the  court  at  all  hours  of  the  day  according  to  their  custom.  ' 
The  Parsi  theologian  Dastur  Meheijee  Rana^who^  lived  at 
Navasari  in  GuiaraL  initiated  tne  emoeror  in  the  mysteries 


-ofZoroastrianism.     He    was  received  well  at  court  and 

(was  granted  200  bighas  of  land  as  a  mark  of  royal  favour. 

f  The  emperoradopted^the  worship  of  the  sun,  the  principal 

fountamof_air^rg,   and  in  this^he  was^nciSuraged  by  Tiis 

friend      ancf    companion     Ra^^Kllbal,       His     interest 

equally  keen.  He  sent  for  the  Chris- 
tian Fathers  from  Goa  to  instruct  him  in  the  tenets  of  their 
faith.  But  the  Fathers^werejtactless  enough  to  abuse  the 
indulgence  shown  to  themj>y  the  i  emgeror  by  vilifying  the 
Prophet,  afTd^matcing  ~un  worthy  ^  att^ks  upp^h^^uran.  so^ 
nauch  so  indeed,^aT^lone  occasion  the  life  of  J?gther 
Rodolfo  was  in  peril,  and  JJb&jBmperor  ha(LJaj)rovide  a 
spe'cian^jr^  It  does  not  appear  that 

the  Jesuits    Bid    anything    more  than  gjye     intellectual 
satisfaction  to  the  emperor,  whose  philosophical  earnest 
knew  no  bounds,  and  who  wished 

fs  u^oubtedJFguity  of  exaggera- 

tion when  he  says  that  the  contribution  made  by  the 
Christians  to  the  debates  at  Fatehpur-Sikri  was  an  im- 
portant factor  among  the  forces  which  led  Akbar  to 
renounce  the  Muslim  religion. 

TbgjBmperor^felt  a  ^reat_regard  for  the^Sikh  jGurus 
ajsp,  and  pn^  one  jDccasion  at  the  Guru  ^request  he  "remitted 
a  year's  revenue  for  the  benefit  of  The  ryots  injthe  Punjab. 
He  felt  a  great  admiration  for  the  GrantlTSahib,  and  once 
observed  that  it  was  '  a  volume  worthy  of  reverence.' 

The  causes   that  have  been  mentioned  before  ,  shook 

•  t|ie  emperor's  ToyaKyTio  ^~of  tHo^FTsIanu    He  clearly  saw 

the  danger  of  allowinglbo  much  power  to  the 

Khuetbamperial    Ulama-    He  would  not  allow  them  to  be  the 

sole  arbiters  of  disputed  questions,  and  wished 

*to  unite  in  his  own  person  the  power  of  the  state,  and  the 


functions  of  the  supreme  Pontiff  of  the  Muslim  Church. 
He  proposed  to  read  the  Khutba  from  the  pulpit  in  the- 
Fatehpur  mosque  which  was  composed  by  Faizi  for  the- 
occasion.  It  ran  as  follows : 

''In  the  name  of  Him  who  gave  us  sovereignty, 
Who  gave  us  a  wise  heart  and  a  strong  arm, 
Who  guided  us  in  equity  and  justice, 
Who  put  away  from  our  heart  aught  but  equity; 
His  praise  is  beyond  the  range  of  our  thoughts, 
Exalted  be  His  Majesty—  'Allah-u-Akbar  !'  " 

According  to  BadSoni,  as  the  emperor  began  to  read  the- 
Khutba,  he  became  nervous,  and  his  voice  trembled  and  he 
handed  over  the  duties  of  the  Imam  to  the  royal  Khatlb, 
but  he  is  not  supported  by  Abul  Fazl  who  asserts  that  the 
emperor  '  several  times  distributed  enlightenment  in  the 
chief  mosque  of  the  capital  and  the  audience  gathered, 
bliss/  There  was  flutter  in  the  orthodox  circles  at  the 
incident,  but  the  emperor  was  not  to  be  deterred  by 
the  clamour  of  bigots  and  zealots  from  the  path  he  had 
chosen  for  himself.  The  phrase  AllSh-u-Akbar  was  con- 
strued to  mean  that  Akbar  is  God,  and  the  orthodox  insist- 
ed on  this  interpretation  with  characteristic  pertinacity 
in  spite  of  the  emperor's  avowals  to  the  contrary. 

But  more  objectionable  than  the  reading  of  this  Khutba 
was  the  emperor's  assumption  of  the  role  of  mujtahid  at  the 
The  8o-caii-  suggestion  of  Shaikh  Mubarak.  As  a  result 
ed  infaiiibili-  of  this  step  he  was  to  become  the  supreme 
ty  Decree.  arbiter  in  all  causes,  whether  ecclesiastical 
or  civil,  like  Henry  VIII  of  England,  jn  \$1$  frfreJfffluy 
Ulama  agreed  to  declare  Jbim  the  Imnm-i-Qdil  (mujtahid), 
the  final  interpreter  of  Muslim  Law.  Shaikh  Mubarak 


hastily  drew  up  a  document  which  he  signed  "with  the 
utmost  willingness.'  An  English  translation  of  the  docu- 
ment is  given  below : 

'Whereas  Hindustan  is  now  become  the  centre  of 
security  and  peace,  and  the  land  of  justice  and  beneficence,  a 
large  number  of  people,  especially  learned  men  and  lawyers, 
*ave  immigrated  and  chosen  this  country  for  their  home. 

'  Now  we  the  principal  Ulama  who  are  not  only  well- 
versed  in  the  several  departments  of  the  Law  and  in  the 
principles  of  Jurisprudence,  and  well-acquainted  with  the 
•edicts  which  rest  on  reason  or  testimony,  but  are  also  known 
for  our  piety  and  honest  intentions,  have  duly,  considered 
the  deep  meaning,  first,  of  the  verse  of  the  Koran  :— 

"Obey  God,  and  obey  the  Prophet,  and  those  who 
have  authority  among  you,"  and  secondly,  of  the 
genuine  tradition : 

"  Surely  the  man  who  is  dearest  to  God  on  the  day 
of  judgment  is  the  Imam-i-§dil  ;  whosoever  obeys  the 
Amir,  obeys  Thee,  and  whosoever  rebels  against  him, 
rebels  against  Thee.  " 

"And  thirdly,  of  several  other  proof  s  based  on  rea- 
soning or  testimony;  and  we  have  agreed  that 
the  rank  of  SultSn-i-adil  is  higher  in  the  eyes  of 
God  than  the  rank  of  a  Mujtahid." 

1  Further,     wejieclaretljat  the^. J£ing_ J2|JtheJDslamf 
Amir  of  the  FaithIi2^HaHow^  God  in  .thajworld,  Abul 

(whose  Tctngdoih  God  perjpetuate)  is_jun^^ 

w}Sfi*-aiuL§J^  "* ~~         ~~ 

'  Should,  therefore,  in  future  a  religious  question  come 
up,  regarding  which  the  opinions  of  the  Mujtahids  are  at 


variance,  and  His  Majesty,  in  his  penetrating  understanding- 
and  clear  wisdom  be  inclined  to  adopt,  for  the  benefit  of  the* 
nation  and  as  a  political  expedient  any  of  the  conflicting- 
opinions  which  exist  on  that  point,  and  should  issue  a  decree 
to  that  effect - 

'  We  do  hereby  agree  that  such  a  decree  shall  be  bind- 
ing on  us  and  on  the  whole  nation. 

1  Further,  we  declare  that  should  His  Majesty  think 
fit  to  issue  a  new  order,  we  and  the  nation  shall  likewise 
be  bound  by  it;  Provided  always,  that  such  order  be  not 
only  in  accordance  with  some  verse  of  the  Quran,  but  also 
of  real  benefit  to  the  nation  ;  and  further,  that  any  opposi- 
tion on  the  part  of  his  subjects  to  such  an  order  passed  by 
His  Majesty  shall  involve  damnation  in  the  world  to  come 
and  loss  of  property  and  religious  privileges  in  this. 

4  This  document  has  been  written  with  honest  intentions, 
for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  propagation  of  the  Islam,  and 
is  signed  by  us,  the  principal  Ulama  and  lawyers,  in  the 
month  of  Rajab  in  the  year  nine  hundred  and  eighty-seven 
(987).' ' 

This  document  acted  like  a  bombshell  in  orthodox 
circles.  It  declared  the  emperor  the  spiritual  as  well 
as  the  temporal  head  of  his  subjects.  Hence- 
forward  he  was  to  be  the  umpire  in  all 
religious  disputes,  and  his  interpretation  was 
binding  on  all,  if  it  was  not  in  conflict  with  the  Quran,  and 
if  it  was  not  detrimental  to  the  interests  of  the  nation. 
It  was  this  qualifying  clause  which  really  limited  the 
emperor's  authority,  but  the  orthodox  refused  to  notice  it 

J  BadSoni,  II,  p.    279. 
The  year  987  began  on  February,  28, 1679. 


and  levelled  all  kinds  of  charges  against  him.  Dr.  Vincent 
Smith,  following  Badaoni  and  the  Jesuits,  writes  that  in  the 
course  of  a  year  or  two  Akbar  definitely  ceased  to  be  a 
Muslim,  and  adopted  a  policy  of  calculated  hypocrisy. 
There  is  no  evidence  to  justify  this  assertion.  The  orthodox 
section  didjiot^ 

"  quest  of  trutK~asTa  step"  towar3s^^tbe 

of  IslrnSSuFa  cause  of  dissatis- 

faction with  the  emperor's  policy  when  he  says: 

"  An  impure  faction  reproached  the  caravan-leader 
of  God-knowers  with  being  of  the  Hindu  (Brahman) 
religion.  The  ground  for  this  improper  notion  was 
that  the  prince  out  of  his  wide  tolerance  received  Hindu 
sages  into  his  intimacy,  and  increased  for  administrative 
reasons  the  rank  of  Hindus,  and  for  the  good  of  the 
country  showed  them  kindness.  Three  things  supported 
the  evil-minded  gossips.  First,  —the  sages  of  different 
religions  assembled  at  court,  and  as  every  religion 
has  some  good  in  it,  each  received  some  praise.  Prom 
a  spirit  of  justice,  the  badness  of  any  sect  could  not 
weave  a  veil  over  its  merits.  Second,  —  the  reason  of 
'  Peace  with  all,  (sulh  kul}  was  honoured  at  the  court 
of  the  Caliphate,  and  various  tribes  of  mankind  of 
various  natures  obtained  spiritual  and  material  success. 
Third,  —the  evil  nature  and  crooked  ways  of  the  base 
ones  of  the  age."1 

The  truth  of  the  matter  is  that  the  emperor  was 
disgusted  with  the  bigotry  of  the  Ulama,  and  was  planning 
a  new  synthesis  of  the  conflicting  creeds  with  a  view  to 
find  a  common  basis  which  might  be  acceptable  to  all. 

1  Akbarnamah,  III,  p.  400. 


He  did  not  claim  to  be  a  prophet  nor  did  he  approve  of 

his  own  apotheosis.    His^belief  in  Divine  Rjght_ 

toe  confounded  with  claim  to  be  ^ 

all  IBCh  cffAtllry  Kings  heTield  kTifgsHTp  to  be  divinely 
ordained,  and  this  belief  was  shared  by  his  Hindu  and 
Muslim  contemporaries  all  over  Hindustan.  His  real 
object  was  to  unite  the  peoples  of  his  empire  into  an 
•organic  whole  by  supplying  a  common  bond.  This  he 
hoped  to  accomplish  by  founding  the  Din-i-Ilahi  or  the 
Divine  Faith. 

The    new  religion  was  officially  promulgated   in  the 

year  1581.    It  was  an  eclectic  pantheism,  containing  the 

good  points  of  all  religions—  a  combination^ 

Promulgation     mysticism,  philosophy  and  nature  worsTiip. 

01     tne   Dm-i-       Tr--*^.  —  -^*  —  ~  ~  -         .-____^»-T—  —__-—-  —  «  --       -.  — 
ilahi.  ItBjtiSS^J^ 

jQ^r  prophets,    and  the 

emperor^was  its^chief  exponent.  Badaoni's  description  of 
tKenew  faith  by  the  phrase  Tauhid-i-Ilahi,  a  divine 
monotheism,  is  incorrect,  for  as  Count  Von  Noer  says  all  the 
practices  and  observances  of  this  new  cult  indicated  that 
it  was  based  upon  a  pantheistic  idea.  The  emperor's  Sufi 
leanings,  his  appreciation  of  Hindu  religion,  and  his  keen 
interest  in  rational  enquiry  and  philosophical  discussion  led 
him  to  i^gard^n^eligions  as  different  roads^leading  to  the 
goal.  Abul  FazTthus^atesTiis"pbsition  :  ~  ~  ~ 

"  He  now  is  the  spiritual  guide  of  the  nation  and  sees 
in  the  performance  of  this  duty  a  means  of  pleasing 
God.  He  has  now  opened  the  gate  that  leads  to  the 
right  path,  and  satisfies  the  thirst  of  all  that  wander 
about  panting  for  truth."1 

*  Aim  I,  P.    164. 


Again  the  following  inscription  penned  by  Abul  Fazl 
for  a  temple  in  Kashmir  expresses  with  great  force  the 
emoeror's  attitude  in  religious  matters. 

'  O  God,  in  every  temple  I  see  people  that  seek  Thee, 
And  in  every  language  I  hear  spoken,  people  praise  Thee  ! 
Polytheism  and  Islam  after  Thee, 
Each  religion  says,  "  Thou  art  one  without  equal." 
If  it  be  a  mosque,  people  murmur  the  holy  prayer, 
And  if  it  be  a  Christian  church,  people  ring  the  bell  from  love  to 


Sometimes  I  frequent  the  Christian  cloister,  and  sometimes  the 

But  it  is  Thou  whom  I  search  from  temple  to  temple. 

Thy  elect  have  no  dealings  with  either  heresy  or  orthodoxy  ;  for 

neither  of  them  stands  behind  the  screen  of  Thy  truth. 
Heresy  to  the  heretic,  and  religion  to  the  orthodox, 

But  the  dust  of  the  rose  petal  belongs  to  the  heart  of  the  perfume* 


Abul  Fazl  gives  an  account  of  the  Divine  Faith  in  Ain 
No.  77  and  describes  the  rite  of  initiation  and  other  observ- 

ances to  which  a  person  desiring  to  become 
S-iiahithe     a  member  had  to  conform.    The  members 

of  the  Divine  Faith  on  meeting  each  other 
uttered  the  words  Allah-u-Akbar  and  Jalla  Jallalhu.  A 
dinner  during  lifetime  was  to  take  the  place  of  the  dinner 
usually  given  after  a  man's  death.  Members  were  fa 
abstain  Jrom  meat,  although  they  were  asked  to  allow 
others  to  eat  it,  but  during  the  month  of  their  birth  they 
were  not  allowed  even  to  approaclTmeSE'^  T^^i^re  Act 
to  Ulne  TwltlrtKi"  butcheTST^^ 

otESrTof  sucVlow^  give  ft  fi?rty 

anaiyersary^of^is  birthday  ancJLjriye  a 

to  bestowlalms  and  prepare  provisions 
long  journeyT"  There  weiSTSur^aeiBSees  of  devotion  to  His 

.  and  A!D,  77. 
F.  87 


Majesty.  BadSoni  writes  of  them  :  '  The  four  degrees 
consisted  in  readiness  to  sacrifice  to  the  Emperor,  Property, 
Life,  Honour,  and  Religion.  Whoever  had  sacrificed  these 
four  things  possessed  the  four  degrees  ;  and  whoever  had 
sacrificed  one  of  these  four  possessed  one  degree.  All  the 
courtiers  now  put  down  their  names  as  faithful  disciples  of 
the  Throne!' 

The  emperor  did  not  promulgate  the  new  faith  in  the 

spirit  of  a  nTiSsionary,   zealous  for  obtaining  recruits.    His 

object    wasfnot  prbselytisation  but  a  new 

The  Emperor,     synthesis   of  the  warring  creeds.    He    ap- 

not  a  mission-  .      ,  .  .         .     .  .  .     .  .    , 

ary.  proachedthe  whole  question  m  what  we  might 

call  a  theosophical  spirit,  and  inculcated  no 
'rigid  formulae  ;  instead  he  appealed  to  the  judgment  of 
those  who  listened  to  him.  Itejas  Bhagwan_D§SL%nd  Man 
Singh,  if  BadSoni  is  to  be  believed,  gave  a  curt  refusal  when 
^^^S^h^mto  .join  the  new  cult.  Tleliever  compelledjais 
numerous  oBJcenT  IxT&jIow  him  thougTT  nochmg^woiild  have 

been  easier  for  him  to  do.  On  thjM^irtn^^ 
the  value  of  independent  judgm^a^  and  appealed  to  men's 
higher  j5^sciences  to  ^see  throj^h  the  veil  of  superstition, 
dogma^  and  ecclesiastical  formQll'ctTtl  The  Ain  mentions  18 
members^of  the  Din-i-Ilahi  among  whom  th^jnost^gromi- 
nent  are  Abul  JFazl,  FaizT,  Shaikh  Mubarak,  MirzaJani  of 
Thatta  and  Aziz  Itoka^wTTnse^raith  in  IslanTwas  shaken  by 
the  greed  of  the  harpies  of  the  Meccan  shrines.  The  only 
Hindu  to  join  was  Raja  Birbal  whose  cosmopolitan  views  won 
forhim  the  confidence  and  ^affecli;^^  Accord- 

ing  to  BadSoni  members  had  to  signal?  ecFafStion  to  the 
effect  that  they  had  abjured  Islam  for  he  says  in  one  place  : 
"Ten  or  twelve  years  later  things  had    come  to 
such    a    pass    that   abandoned    wretches    like    Mirza 


Jam',  Governor  of  Thatta,  and  other  apostates  wrote 
their  confession  to  the  following  effect—  this  is  the 

"  I,  who  am  so  and  so,  son  of  so  and  so,  do  voluntarily 
and  with  sincere  predilection  and  inclination,  utterly 
and  entirely  renounce  and  repudiate  the  religion  of 
Islam  which  I  have  seen  and  heard  of  my  fathers  and 
do  embrace  the  '  Divine  Religion  '  of  Akbar  Shah,  and 
do  accept  the  four  grades  of  entire 
fice  of  Property.  Life.  Honou?-  an 

Accord  ing"  to  tire  same  writer  this  declaration  was 
handed  over  to  Abul  Fazl  and  '  became  the  source  of 
confidence  and  promotion/ 

The  promulgation  of  the  Din-i-Ilahi  was  followed  by 
a  number  of  decrees  against  Islam  of  which  BadSoni  has 
Ordinances  given  a  detailed  account.  An  orthodox  Mus- 
against  Islam  ]jm>  he  looked  upon  the  emperor's  ways  with 
great  abhorrence  and  felt  much  'heart-burning  for  the 
deceased  religion  of  Islam/  It  would  be  tedious  to  detail 
all  the  regulations  issued  by  the  emperor  which  BadSoni 
mentions,  but  it  is  necessary  to  refer  to  some  of  them  in 
order  to  understand  the  ^charge  of  seeking  to  destroy 
Islam,  brought^_against_  Ifim^^  orthodox 


s*^T?Ee  Era  of  the  Thousand  was  stamped  on  the  coins, 
and  a  Tarikh-i-Alfi  commencing  with  the  death  of  the 
Prophet  was  to  be  written. 

Sijdah  was  to  be  offered  to  Kings. 

Circumcision  was  forbidden  before  the  age  of  12  and 
was  then  left  to  the  will  of  boys. 

Beewas  prohibitec 

wives    hadcreated   a 


prgj5d|cejnjiigjnind  against  garlic  and  onions  which  were 

The  jgearing  of  beards  was  discouraged. 

The  wearing  of  gold  and  silk  dresses  forbidden  by  the 
shariat  was  made  obligatory. 

The  flesh  of  the  wild  boar  and  tiger  was  permitted, 
and  the  emperor  ordered  swine  and  dogsjo  be  kept  in  the 

regaf&ejfihe  going  t 

at  them  every  morning  as  a  religious  service. l 

PubHc_prayers  and  the  azan  (call  to  prayer)  were 
abolished.  MuslinTTlames  such  as  AJlQlgd,  MuhammaJTarffl 
*"  ~"  "  "  """  ^M^estj^that  he  got 

The  fast  of^R^nzSn  and 

Arabic  was  looked  upon  as  a  'crime'  and  Muslim  Law,  the 
Quran  and  the  Hadis  were  all  tabooed.  Their  place  was 
taken  by  mathematics,  astronomy,  poetry,  medicine,  history 
and  fiction  which  were  assiduously  cultivated. 

Rnya  werg  nnM^j^jmarri^  before  tfag  affe  of  *fi  and 
girls  before  14,  because  the  offspring  of^  such  marriages 
o  be  wg^klmd  aicklv, 

Mosques  and  prayer  rooms  were  changed  into  store 
rooms  and  guard  rooms. 

As  the  reader  will  easily  perceive,  some  of  these  regu- 
lations are  absurd.  Is  it  conceivable  that  a  tolerant  and 
liberal-minded  ruler  like  Akbar,  who  respected  all  religions, 
should  have  regarded  the  going  to  look  at  swine  and  dogs 
as  an  act  of  religious  merit  ? 

BadSoni's  diatribe,  couched  in  language  worthy  of  a 
gloomy  religious  fanatic,  Whose  heart  is  entirely  unillumined 

1  Al-Badioni,  II,  p.  314. 



by  the  light  of  reason,  and  whose  intellect  is  cramped  by 
sectarian  studies  as  his  own  admissions  so 
fiadsonim  °f  Profusely  illustrate  extends  over  hundreds 
of  pages,  and  his  narrative  is  frequently  dis- 
figured by  his  ravings  against  the  Hindus  whom  he  cannot 
bear  to  see  in  positions  of  power  and  influence  at  court. 
The  only  other  evidence  which  supports  him  is  that  of 
the  Jesuits,  but  it  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  they  took 
their  cue  from  the  orthodox  section,  which  had  declared 
war  against  the .  emperor.  Most  of  BadSoni's  statements 
are  based  upon  hearsay,  as  is  shown  by  the  trend  of  his 
narrative.  There  is  no  evidence  to  prove  that  he  had 
personal  knowledge  of  all  the  facts  which  he  relates,  or  that 
he  ever  tried  to  ascertain  the  truth. 

It  is  idle  to  discuss  whether  Akbar  renounced  Islam 

or  not.  /If  P  nrffiiysed  ft  hr^^yhgnd  in  whiqji  tfeg  intellectuals 

•could  join.     It  was  an^  association  J^gtudmts  ~anc 

thinkers^fioTiaS  "transcended  the  barriers  of 
sect  and"  creed  and  shaken  off  the  tyrannous 
yoke  of  age-long  customs^  It  is  not  necessary 
for  us  to  probe  too  closely  into  the  rules 
and  regulations  for  its  organisation  and  discipline.  .Imper- 
fections are  insepjaql^e  J:ron^  of 
do  well  to  keepm Tmi^tESnoft 

Din-i-Ilah  i, 
a  broth  er- 
"h  o  o  d  of  in- 


•emperor  and  the  steadfastness  with  which  he  pursued  it. 
******¥&  success  or  failure  of  the  Din-i-llahi  as  a  cult  is  not 
a  matter  of  importance.    Politically    it    produced    wholly 
beneficial  results* //Dr.  Vincent 


I  m  p  o  r  t- 
anoe   of   Din- 

monstr       growKjf^ 

another  Iglg^^^yry^s  that  it  wag^4  monument 
of  Akbar's  folly,  not  of  his  wisdom^^o  one  will  doubt  that 


this,  view  is  wholly  erroneous,  and  no  one  acquainted  with 
the  history  of  Akbar's  reign  will  endorse  this  unjust 
criticism  of  a  great  manrof  highjaims  and  noble  aspirations. 
The  German  historian  of  Akbar  does  him  greater  justice 
than  Dr.  Smith,  and  his  estimate  is  well  worthy  of  re* 
production.  He  concludes  his  well-known  work  with 
these  words  : 

"  Badaoni  certainly  takes  every  <-•  opportunity  of 
raking  up  the  notion  of  Akbar's  apotheosis  for  the 
purpose  of  renewing  attacks,  upon  the  great  emperor. 
He  however  was  never  in  intimate  relation  to  the 
Din-i-Ilahi,  he  repeats  the  misconceptions  current 
among  the  populace  marred  and  alloyed  by  popular 
modes  of  perception.  (_Akbar  might  justly  have 
contemplated  the  acts  of  his  reign  with  legitimate 
pride,  but  many  incidents  ofjus  jife  prove  him  to 
hqve  been  jimong  the  most  nSbdest'^of_men.^  It 
w#s  the  people  who  made  ^a  GSdTlJF^the  man  who 
was  the  founder  and  head  of  an  order  at  once  poli- 
tical, philosophic  and  religious.  One  of  his  creations 
will  assure  to  him  for  all  time  ft  pre-eminent  place 
among  the  benefactors  of  humanity— greatness  and 
universal  tolerance  in  matters  of  religious  belief. 
If  in  very  deed  he  had  contemplated  the  deification 
of  himself,  a  design  certainly  foreign  to  his  character, 
these  words  of  Voltaire  would  serve  as  his  vindica^ 
tion."  "  G&st  le  privilege  du  vrai  g£nie  et  surtoftt 
du  g£nie  qui  ouvre.  une  carr&re,  de  faire  impund- 
ment  de  grandes  fautes." ' 

'  1  Von  Noer,  I,  p.  848. 


It  was  Akbar's  interest  in  religious  matters  and  his  eager 
desire  to  know  the  truth  that  brought  him  in  contact 
with  the^Jesuits.     Ttjgy  were  invited  to  take 
part  in  the  debates  at  Fft*gh™"  **«"'-  and  the 
emperor  granted  them    interviews,  treated*, 
them  with  kindness,  and  shbwed  interest  in  the  Christiani 
doctrine,^although  Dr.^yincent^  Smith  wrongly^  asserts  that 
the  contribution  ma3e  Jp""fiSe  debates  by  the  missionaries 
|  was  an  T^Srtai^Jactor  ^whichTecJ  Akbar  to  renounce  rhe- 
Musiilm^seligionr    Akbar^l1?^^  him  ham, 

discussed  before,  and  it  will,  therefore,  suffice  to  remind  the 
reader  that  the^^suitjpriests  who  came  Jojijs  court  with- 
the  avowed  object  of  convertmgTnni  to  their  faith  fell, 
^1  religious^  fanatics,  int^"tEe"erfor 
emperor  was  really  willing  to  embrace  th 
All  their  correspondence  betrays  their  amazing  credulity. 
Obsessed  by  religious  zeal,  they  accepted  every  rumour  cur- 
rent at  Goa,  Delhi  or  Lahore  about  the  emperor,  and  gave  it 
wide  publicity  without  trying  to  ascertain  the  truth.  |jhree 
missions  were  sent  from  Goa  to  the  imperial  court  in  the 
hope  of  persuading  the  emperor  to  introduce  the  Christian 
religion  in  his  dominions.j  The  first  mission  started  from 
Goa  on  November  17,  157$,  and  reached  Fatehpur  Sikri  after 
a  journey  of  a  little  mere  than  she  weeks.  The  leaders  of 
the  mission  were  Father  Rudolf  Acquaviva  and  Father 
Monserrate1  both  of  whom  were  distinguished  by  enthus- 
iastic devotion  to  their  faith.f  Akbar  treated  them  with 
kindness  and  called  them  in  his  palace  A  where  he  talk- 
ed to  them  with  great  politeness.)  When  fte  time  came  to 

1  Monserrate  who  was  a  scholar  acted  as  the  historian  of  the  mission. 
His  chief  work  is  the  Mongolical,  Lagationis  Commentarious,  which; 
contains  an  account  of  Northern  India  and  the  Imperial  Court.  The  world 
lias  been  translated  into  English  by  Mr.  Hoyland  of  the  Nagpur  College. 


take  leave  of  their  royal  host,  the  Fathers  were  offered  a  large 
quantity  of  gold  and  silver,  which  they  refused  on  the  ground 
that  their  calling  did  not  allow  the  acceptance  of  such  gifts. 
Two  or  three  days  later,  they  presented  him  with  a  copy  of 
the  Bible  in  four  languages  and  also  portraits  of  Jesus  and 
Virgin  Mary  which  he  received  with  great  reverence.  The 
Fathers  were  full  of  proselytising  zeal,  so  much  so  indeed, 
that  they  described  the  Prophet  of  Islam  as  Anti-christ, 
and  Acquaviva  wrote  in  his  letter  to  the  Rector  of  Goa  that 
'in  honour  of  this  infernal  monster  they  bend  the  knee, 
prostrate,  lift  up  their  hands,  give  alms,  and  do  all  they  do/ 
They  talked  much  against  Islam  and  denounced  its  observ- 
ances, and  by  thgir_ind  iscreet^^ 

iogges  of  discontent  which,  as  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  admits, 
f niinH j^prPfiaTmTiyTtwn  fonflifiahTq  j^fcell  fo 

JigBerillef|KgTKro^  and  life  of  Akbar.  But  in  spite  of 
their  zeal  and  vilification  of  the  Prophet  in  which  they 
indulged  to  excess  at  times,  they  did  not  accomplish 
much,  and  When  they  asked  the  emperor  to  adopt 
the  Christian  law,  he  replied  with  his  habitual  courtesy 
that  'the  matter  was  in  the  hands  of  God,  who  possessed 
the  power  to  accomplish  what  they  desired,  and  that  for 
his  part  there  was  nothing  in  the  world  he  desired  more.' 
These  polite  refusals  were  interpreted  by  the  Fathers  as  the 
emperor's  willingness  to  embrace  the  Christian  doctrine) 

'  Negotiations  were  opened  again  in  1590.    The  emperor 

sent  theMlciHdngJefteii^o  the  Fathers  of  the  Society  of  Goa. 

"  In  the  name  of  God.  *" 

The  exalted  and  invincible  Akbar  to  those  that  are  in 

God's  grace  and    have   tasted   of    his  Holy  Spirit 

and  to  those  that  are  obedient  to  the  spirit  of  the 

Messiah  and  conduct  men  to  good,  I  say  to  you, 


learned  Fathers,  whose  words  are  heeded  as  those  of 
retired  from  the  world,  men  who  have  left  the 
pomps  and  honour  of  earth  ;  Fathers  who  walk  by 
the  true  way,  I  would  have  your  reverences  know 
that  have  knowledge  of  all  the  faiths  of  the  world, 
both  of  various  kinds  of  heathen  and  of  the  Moham- 
medans, save  only  that  of  Jesus  Christ  which  is  the 
faith  of  God  and  as  such  recognised  and  followed  by 
many.  Now  in  that  I  feel  great  inclination  to 
the  friendship  of  the  Fathers,  I  desire  that  by  them 
I  may  be  taught  this  faith. 

There  has  recently  come  to  our  court  and  Royal  Palace 
one  Dom  Leo  Grimon,  a  person  of  great  merit  and 
good  discourse,  whom  I  have  questioned  on  sundry 
matters  and  who  has  answered  well  to  the  satisfac- 
tion of  myself  and  my  doctors.  He  has  assured  me 
that  there  are  in  India  (Scil-Goa)  several  Fathers 
of  great  prudence  and  learning,  and  if  this  be  so 
your  reverences  will  be  able  immediately,  on  re- 
ceiving my  letter  to  send  some  of  them  to  my  Court 
with  all  confidence,  so  that  in  disputations  with  my 
doctors  I  may  compare  their  several  learning  atid 
character,  and  see  the  superiority  of  the  Fathers 
over  my  doctors,  whom  we  call  Qazis,  and  whom  by 
this  means  they  can  teach  the  truth. 

If  they  will  remain  in  my  court,  I  shall  build  them 
such  lodging  that  they  may  live  as  nobly  as  any 
Father  now  in  this  country,  and  when  they  wish  to 
leave,  I  shall  let  them  depart  with  all  honour.  You 
would,  therefore,  do  as  I  ask,  and  the  more  willingly 
because  I  beg  of  you  the  same,  in  this  letter 
written  at  the  commencement  of  the  moon  of  June." 


This  offer  gladdened  the  hearts  of  the  Fathers  who  wel- 
comed the  opportunity  of  teaching:  the  emperor  the  tenets  of 
their  faith.  A  second  mission  consisting  of  Fathers  Edward 
Leiton  and  Christopher  de  Yoga  was  sent  which  waited 
on  the  emperor  at  Lahore  in  1591.  He  treated  the  Fathers 
with  great  courtesy,  allotted  to  them  quarters  in  his  own 
palace  and  started  a  school  in  which  the  sons  of  nobles  and 
the  emperor's  sons  and  grandson  (Prince  Khusrau)  were 
taught  to  read  and  write  the  Portuguese  language.  But  a 
few  days'  stay  convinced  them  that  ibe  emperor  had  no 
intention  to  embrace  the  Christian  faith.  Dr.  Vincent  Smith 
says  that  Akbar  was  never  perfectly  sincere  when  he  used 
expressions  implying  belief  in  the  Christian  religion,  but  he 
does  not  blame  the  Fathers  for  their  childlike  simplicity  in 
mistaking  the  emperor's  latitudinarianism  for  a  desire  to- 
change  the  faith.  The  Fathers  ought  to  have  known  by  this 
time  that  his  expanding  soul  could  not  be  confined  within 
the  strait  waistcoat  of  a  formula,  nor  could  his  eager  and 
inquisitive  mind,  longing  to  know  the  truth,  find  satisfaction 
in  the  narrow  sectarianism  of  the  Jesuits.  Thejangifiror's. 
^t^egLJII^iirisManity  wjas^jnerely^Jj^llgctual,  but  the 
FatKers  were  obtuse  enough  to  think  that  he  seriously 
thought  of  declaring  himself  a  follower  of  Christ.  Their  cre- 
dulity is  revealed  in  their  readiness  to  accept  the  orthodox 
gossip  that  was  current  in  Hindustan  about  the  emperor 
The  following  is  an  instance  : 

"  The  emperor  turned  all  the  mosques  of  the  city 
where  he  lived  into  stables  for  elephants  or  horses  on 
the  pretence  of  preparation  for  war.  Soon,  however,, 
he  destroyed  the  Alcorans  which  are  the  turrets  from* 
which  the  priests  call  with  loud  voices  on  Mohammed 
saying  that  if  the  mosques  could  no  longer  be  used 


for  prayer  there  was  no  need  for  the  turrets,  and 
he  did  in  his  hatred  for  the  Mohammedan  sect  and4 
in    his    affection    for    the   Gospel.      The   sub-deacon 
also  said  that  the  name  of  Mohammed  was  as  hated4 
at   the   Mughal's  court  as  in  Christendom,   and  that 
the  emperor  had  restricted  himself  to  one  wife,  turn- 
ing out  the   rest   and   distributing   them   among   his* 
courtiers.  Moreover,  that  he  had  passed  a  law  that  no- 
Mohammedan  was  to  circumcise    his   son    before   the 
fifteenth  year  of  his  age,  and  that  the  sons    should: 
be   at   liberty   on    attaining    years    of    discretion    to* 
enribrace  what  religion  they  chose." 
It  will  be  clear  from  the  above  extract  that  thejtesuit 
^  truths  and^urv  truths^  and  yet  Dr. 

Vijyjent  ^j^xJooke^^  sources 

of  information.  antL  b  y  placi  ng  too  jmc  h 

them  gave  to  th^jworid  a  highly  distorted  Digtyrq  of  the- 
greatest  Mughal  ei^^rg^f  41iHduBfcan. 
"'*  Aftersbrhe  time  the  Fathers  were  called  back,  and  the- 
mission  abruptly  came  to  an  end. 

In  1574  the  emperor  sent  another  ambassador  to  Goa  to* 
ask  the  Provincial  to  send  a  fresh  mission  to  instruct  him 
in  the  doctrines  of  the  Christian  faith.    The  Provincial  who 
knew  the  fate  of  the  first  two  missions  did  not  feel  inclin- 
ed to  comply  with  the  request,  but  after  consultation  with 
his  colleagues  agreed  to  do  so.    The  leader  of  the  new 
mission  was  Jerome  Xavier,  grand-nenhew  of  SjL  Francis* 
Xavier,    ancT^e^^as^'li^islEecr  by    others.    The  T5*atEers 
founff  the  emperor  at  Lahore  in  May  1595.    They   were- 
hospitably  received,  and  the  emperor  treated  them  with  a 
consideration  which  he  did  not  even  show  to  ruling  chiefs. 
But  like  their  predecessors,  they  also  made  the  mistake  of 


supposing  that  the  emperor  intended  to  accept  the  Christian 
faith,  when  they  beheld  him  doing  reverence  to  Christ  and 
Virgin  Mary  and  attending  a  litany  service  on  bended  knees, 
f  nd  with  clasped  hands  after  the  fashion  of  the  Christians. 
The^jscfijej^on  disillusioned  ;  and  Father  Xavier  j?JwjK?s 
greatly  disappoiflte<ar  "wrote  jrf^  him  tliat  he  was  drifting 

make     orl     He    listened    to 

Christian  faith,  but  showed  no  sign 
of  abandoning  his  superstitious  worship  of  the  sun,  which 
he  adored  every  day  at  sunrise,  and  an  image  of  which 
he  constantly  kept  near  him.  He  allowed  the  Fathers 
to  build  a  church  and  to  baptise  all  who  desired  to 
embrace  Christianity  of  their  own  free-will,  but  when  they 
asked  him  to  publish  broadcast  this  permission,  he  replied 
that  it  was  unnecessary  to  do  so.  The  idea  of  conversion 
was  not  likedjfry  the  people  of  Hindustan,  and  the  Fathers 
soon  despaired  of  securing  a  large  number  of  converts. 
The  members  of  the  third  mission  also  dwell  upon  the 
•emperor's  hostility  to  Islam,  and  their*  remarks  have  an  echo 
of  Badaoni's  diatribes  against  him. 
One  of  them  writes  :— 

"  This  king  has  destroyed  the  false  sect  of  Muham* 
mad  and  wholly  discredited  it.  In  this  city  there  is 
neither  a  mosque  nor  a  Quran,  the  book  of  their  law, 
and  the  mosques  that  were  there  have  been  made 
stables  for  horses  and  store-houses  and  for  the  greater 
shame  of  the  Mohammedans,  every  Friday  it  is 
arranged  that  forty  or  fifty  boars  are  brought  to 
iight  before  the  king,  and  he  takes  their  tusks  and 
has  them  mounted  in  gold.  This  king  has  made  a 
sect  of  his  own,  and  makes  himself  out  to  be  a 


'prophet.  He  has  already  many  people  who  follow  him, 
but  it  is  all  for  money  which  he  gives  them.  He 
adores  God,  and  the  sun,  and  is  a  Hindu  (Gentile)  ; 
he  follows  the  sect  of  the  Jains  (Vertei)."1 
No  contemporary  Muslim  writer  corroborates  this  account 
except  Badaoniwhojtfas^ 

It  appears,  the  Fathers  heard  from  certain  Muslims  about 
these  matters  and  accepted  their  statements  without  a  critical 
examination.  They  fitted  in  so  well  with  their  hatred  towards 
Islam  that  they  readily  put  implicit  faith  in  all  the  reports 
that  reached  them  about  the  emperor's  alleged  apostasy. 

I^Akbar  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  kings  not  only 
in  the  history  of  India  but  of  the  whole  world .J  His  great 
qualities  are  amply  revealed  in  the  pages  of 
of  Akbwnality     the  Ain-i-Akbari  and  the  Atcbarnftmah,  and 
even  Badaoni's  hostile  pen  has  not  succeeded 
injbglittlinfr  the~lrrandeu^  Abul  Fazl's 

account  of  the  emperorV  cEaracter  and  habits  is  very 
largely  confirmed  by  Father  Monserrate  who  was  personally 
acquainted  with  him^)  Jahangir  also  describes  his  father 
in  the  Memoirs,  and  his  remarks  deserve  to  be  quoted, 
writes  : 

"  In  his  august  personal  appearance  he  was  of  middle 
height,   but    inclining   to   be   tall  ;   he    was    of    the 

1  Compare  with  the  above  Badioni's  calculated  misrepresentation 
of  what  the  emperor  did.  He  says  :  "  The  real  object  of  those  who 
became  disciples  was  to  get  into  office*  and  though  His  Majesty  di<J 
reerything  to  get  this  out  of  their  heads,  he  acted  very  differently  in  the 
case  of  Hindus,  of  whom  he  could  not  get  enough,  for  the  Hindus,  of 
course,  are  indispensable  ;  to  them  belongs  half  the  army  and  half  the 
land.  Neither  the  Hindustanis  nor  the  Mughals  can  point  to  such  grand 
lords  as  the  Hindus  have  among  themselves.  But  if  other  than  Hin4uf 
came  and  wished  to  become  disciples  at  any  sacrifice  His  Majesty 
reprovf  d  or  punished  them*  For  their  honour  and  zeal  he  did  not  Qfirev 
nor  did  he  notice  whether  they  fell  in  with  his  views  or  not."  Comment- 
upon  this  is  superfluous.  The  reader  may  be  left  to  draw  his  own 


hue  of  wheat  ;  his  eyes  and  eyebrows  black 
and  his  complexion  rather  dark  than  fair  ;  he  was 
lion-bodied,  with  a  broad  chest,  and  hands  and  arms 
long.  On  the  left  side  of  his  nose  he  had  a  fleshly 
mole,  very  agreeable  in  appearance,  of  the  size  of 
half  a  pea.  Those  skilled  in  the  science  of  physiog- 
nomy considered  the  mole  a  sign  of  great  prosperity 
and  exceeding  good  fortune.  /[His  august  voice  was 
very  loud  and  in  speaking  and  explaining  had  a 
peculiar  richness.  In  his  actions 

he  WJISL   nqj:    li|lg  tfrq  p^^le^of^Jbhe   world,   and  the 

glory  of  God  mamfes^^  j 

""~~rr  Th^gooSTqualities  otTn^revered  father  arfe  beyond 

the  limit  of  approval  and  the  bounds  of    praise.    If 

books  were  composed  with  regard  to  his  commendable 

dispositions,  without    suspicion    of    extravagance,   and 

he  be  not  looked  at  as  a  father  would  be  by   his  son 

even  then  but  a  little  out  of  much  could  be  said." 

The  emperor's  features  were  so  majestic  and  impressive 

that  one  could  easily  recognise  at  the  first  glance  that  he 

was  a  king.     His  shoulders  were  broad,   and  his  legs  were 

somewhat  turned  inwards  and  were  well-suited  for  exercises 

in  horsemanship.    His  forehead  was   broad  and  open,   and 

liis  eyes  so  bright  and  flashing   that    they    looked    like 

the  sea  shining  in  the  light  of  the   sun.    His  nose  was 

•straight  and  small,  and  his  nostrils  were  widely  open.    He 

was  clean-shaven     except    for  a    moustache    which    he 

wore  after  the  fashion  of  the  Turkish  youths  who  had  hot 

yet  attained  to  manhood*    He  was  neither  too  stout  nor 

too  thin,  and  possessed  a  healthy  and  robust  constitution. 

His  countenance  was  highly  dignified,  and  the  Jesuit  writer 

1  Kogers  and  Beveridge,  I,  pp.  88,  84,  37. 



-who  saw  him  in  his  38th  year  writes  that  his  expression 
^was  tranquil,  serene  and  open  and  full  of  dignity  and  in 
moments  of  anger,  of  awful  majesty.  He  laughed  heartily, 
-cracked  jokes  and  enjoyed  every  kind  of  entertainment, 
-but  when  he  was  offended,  his  wrath  was  terrible.  He  was 
^amiable,  polite  and  accessible  as  few  other  monarchs  in 
Muslim  history  have  been.  He  granted  audiences  to  the 
nobles  and  the  common  .people  alike  and  spoke  gently  to 
them.  His  manners  were  highly  pleasant,  so  much  so 
-indeed,  tha^ather  Jerome  Xavier  writes  of  him  that  'to 
*rutiasCTeat  with  the  greatand^ 

^  towards  him 

in^spite^of  his  heterodox  views,  and  the  Jesuit  writer  is 
surprised  that  he  was  not  assassinated  for  his  aberrations 
from  orthodoxy.  He  was  extremely  intelligent,  far-sighted 
•and  shrewd  and  was  capable  of  understanding  the  most 
difficult  problems  of  the  state  without  much  effort.  No 
•question,  philosophical  or  political,  could  baffle  his  intellect 
*nd  the  astute  statesmen  in  the  realm  found  in  him 
a  rival  in  quickness  of  perception,  industry  and  capacity  for 
ready  decision.  He  could  manage  a  theological  debate,  a 
military  campaign  in  a  far-off  province,  and  a  reform  in 
some  branch  of  the  administration  with  equal  easef  and  his 
highest  officers  always  valued  his  advice  and  suggestions. 

In  his  dress  he  followed  the  fashion  of  Muslim  kings. 
His  garments  were  made  of  silk  beautifully  embroidered 
in  gold.  He  was  fond  of  jewellery  and  wore  a  great  deal 
of  it  on  ceremonial  occasions.  His  headgear  was  a  turban, 
tightly  bound  and  decked  with  pearls  and  jewels.  He  liked 
European  dress  too  and  sometimes  put  it  on  in  private. 
He  always  carried  arms  on  his  person,  and  was  surrounded 
even  in  his  private  apartments  by  armed  bodyguards. 


£The  imperial  kitchen  was  a  huge  establishment,  but  the 
emperor  wa^extremely  temperate  in  matters  of  eating  and 
drinking.  He  took  only  one  meal  a  day^and  left  off  before 
he  was  fully  satisfied.  No  hours  were  fixed  for  his  meals  ; 
they  were  served  whenever  he  called  for  them.  He  was  sa 
gentle  and  unassuming  that  the  words  '  what  dinner  has  been 
prepared  today, 9  never  passed  from  his  lips.  But  his  table 
was  sumptuous,  and  great  precautions  were  taken  against 
poisoning.  I^JHe  gave  up  beef,  garlic  and  onions  in  order  to- 
avoid  giving  offence  to  his  Hindu  wives  and  friends.^e 
cared  little  for  meat,  and  in  his  later  years  completely  gave 
it  up/  On  the  question  of  meat  he  expressed  himself  in 
these  words : 

"  Men  are  so  accustomed  to  eating  meat  that  were 
it  not  for  the  pain,  they  would  undoubtedly  fall  to  on 
themselves.  Would  that  my  body  were  so  vigorous  aa 
to  be  of  service  to  eaters  of  meat  who  would  thus  forego 
other  animal  life,  or  that  as  I  cut  off  a  piece  for  their 
nourishment,  it  might  be  replaced  by  another. 

14  Would  that  it  were  lawful  to  eat  an  elephant,  so- 
that  one  animal  might  avail  for  many.  Were  it  not  for 
the  thought  of  the  difficulty  of  sustenance,  I  would 
prohibit  men  from  eating  meat.  4lhe  reason  why  I  do 
not  altogether  abandon  it  myself  is,  that  many  others 
might  willingly  forego  it  likewise  and  be  'thus  cast  into 
despondency  & 

Q"  From  my  earliest  years,  whenever  I  ordered  animal 
food  to  be  cooked  for  me,  I  found  it  rather  tastele^ 
and  cared  little  for  it.  I  took  this  feeling  to  indicate 
a  necessity  for  protecting  animals,  and  I  refrained  from 
animal  food," 


"  Butchers,  fishermen  and  the  like  who  have  no 
other  occupation  but  taking  life,  should  have  a  separate 
quarter  and  their  association  with  others  should  be 
prohibited  by  fine. 

"It  is  indeed    from  ignorance    and    cruelty  that 

although  various  kinds  of  food  are  obtainable,  men  are 

bent    upon    injuring  living  creatures    and    lending  a 

ready  hand  in    killing  and  eating  them  ;  none  seems 

to  have  an  eye  for  the  beauty  inherent  in  the  prevention 

of  cruelty,  but  makes  himself  a  tomb  for  animals." 

(jle  drank  much  in  his  early  youth  but  in  later  years 

he  rarely  did  so.    The  Jesuit  writer  says  4hat  he  quenched 

his  thirst  with  poft  or  plain  water!)He  generally  dined  alone, 

reclining  on  an  ordinary  couch  which  .was  covered  with 

silk  and«£ushions  stuffed  with  the  soft  fibres    of  some 

imported  plant. 

He  was  a  man  of  deep  affections.  iHe  enjoined  obe- 
dience to  parents,  and  regretted  that  his  father  Humayun 
died  so  early  that  he  could  render  him  no  faithful  service 
Towards  his  mother  and  other  relatives,  he  showed  a  great 
kindness  and  looked  after  their  comforts.    He  treated  his 
brother  Hakim  kindly  even  when  the  latter  rebelled  against 
him,  and  showed  favour  to   his  foster-brother  Aziz  Koka, 
whom  he  entrusted  with   important  military  commands. 
'He  loved  little  children,)and  used  to  say  that  love  towards 
Ttem  often  turned  the  mind  towards  the  Bountiful  Creator. 
He  had  a  great  love  for  Bibi  Daulat-ShSd's  daughter  \whora 
Tie  gave  the  name  of  Aram  Banu  Begum.    Often  he  said  to 
his  son  Salim  :  Baba  I  for  my  sake  be  as  kind  as  I  am,~  after 
me,  to  this  sister,)  who  in  Hindi  phrase  is  '  my  darling.' 
He  hated  pride  and  arrogance  and  behaved  as  the  humblest 

F.  28 


of  men.  When  he  organised  his  religious  order,  many  ex- 
pressed a  wish  to  become  his  disciples  but  he  refused 
to  admit  them  and  said  :  '  Why  should  I  claim  to  guide 
men,  before  I  myself  am  guided/1  Jahangir  writes  in  his 
Memoirs  that  notwithstanding  his  kingship  and  bound- 
less wealth  he  never  '  placed  his  foot  beyond  the  base  of 
humility  before  the  throne  of  God  but  considered  himself 
the  lowest  of  created  beings  and  never  for  one  moment 
forgot  God.'8 

His  time  was  carefully  mapped  out  so  that  not  a  minute 
was  wasted.  He  slept  only  for  a  few  hours  in  the  night, 
and  spent  most  of  his  time  in  philosophical  discussions  and 
listening  to  historians  who  related  the  events  of  bygone 
ages  'without  adding  or  suppressing  facts.'  After  day- 
break peasants,  soldiers,  tradesmen,  merchants  and  men 
of  other  avocations  gathered  near  the  walls  of  the  palace 
and  were  allowed  to  make  the  kornish.  During  the  day 
the  emperor  was  busy  in  transacting  the  business  of  the 
state.  He  himself  looked  into  every  detail  of  the  adminis- 
tration which  was  greatly  improved  by  his  methodising 

Though  himself  illiterate,  the  emperor  was  endowed  by 
nature  with  extraordinary  intellectual  powers.  He  had  a 
marvellous  memory  which  enabled  him  to  store  his  mind 
with  all  kinds  of  useful  knowledge.  He  knew  a  great  deal 
of  philosophy,  theology,  history  and  politics  and  could  easily 
give  his  opinion  on  the  most  abstruse  subjects.  Never 
before  in  the  history  of  Muslim  rule  in  India  had  so  many 
scholars,  poets  and  philosophers  gathered  round  a  king  and 

I,  p.  165. 
Rogers  and  Beveridge,  I,  p.  87. 


-enjoyed  his  patronage.  He  had  a  large  library  in  his  palace 
which  contained  books  on  all  subjects.  Learned  men  were 
.asked  to  read  these  books  to  the  emperor  from  the  begin- 
ning to  the  end.  He  made  a  sign  with  his  own  pen  every  day 
at  the  place  where  his  readers  stopped  and  paid  their  wages 
according  to  the  number  of  pages  read.  Thus  he  had  acquir- 
ed a  sufficiently  wide  knowledge  of  Asiatic  literature  which 
included  a  deep  study  of  Sufi  poets.  He  had  heard  the 
gospel  from  the  lips  of  the  Jesuit  Fathers  and  seems  to  have 
greatly  liked  its  teachings.  His  interest  in  art  was  keen  ;  he 
loved  calligraphy  and  employed  a  large  number  of  skilled  calli- 
graphists  in  his  service.fHe  was  fond  of  music  and  song,  and 
a  large  number  of  musicians  lived  at  his  court.  \  He  was  not 
devoid  of  a  knowledge  of  architecture,  and  the  buildings  of 
his  reign  testify  to  his  good  taste.  It  is  really  a  marvel  that 
he  should  have  drawn  in  so  much  knowledge  through  the  ear. 
Even  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  who  is  in  no  way  partial  to  him 
-acknowledges  his  great  Tntellectual  powers.  He  says  : 

"  Anybody  who  heard  him  arguing  with  acuteness 
and  lucidity  on  a  subject  of  debate  would  have  credited 
him  with  wide  literary  knowledge  and  profound 
erudition,  and  never  would  have  suspected  him  of 
illiteracy."  ' 

-He  knew  the  mechanical  art  and  himself  devised  several 

He  was  possessed  of  incredible  bodily  strength.  The 
Mongol  and  Turkish  elements  were  mixed  up  in  his  nature, 
and  he  displayed  the  qualities  of  both  races.  He  was  devoted 
from  his  childhood  to  hunting  excursions,  and  when  he  grew 

1  Akbar,  p.  838. 


to  man's  estate,  they  became  a  passion  with  him.  Sport  was 
a  source  of  delight  to  him,  and  nothing  gave  him  greater 
pleasure  than  the  chase  of  wild  and  ferocious  animals.  No- 
lion,  tiger  or  elephant,  however  fierce,  could  frighten  him, 
and  no  amount  of  fatigue  could  make  him  give  up  the  pur- 
suit of  his  game.  Fear  was  unknown  to  his  nature,  and 
whether  he  was  in  the  thick  of  battle  or  in  the  breathless, 
chase  of  some  wild  animal,  he  dashed  with  full  vigour,  and 
never  faltered  or  hesitated.  He  enjoyed  elephant  fights 
and  gladiator  combats,  but  had  an  abhorrence  of  bloodshed. 
He  was  at  times  so  reckless  of  his  own  life  that  he  plunged 
his  horse  into  the  Ganges,  when  it  was  in  full  flood  during 
the  rainy  season,  and  successfully  crossed  to  the  other  side. 

The  emperor  held  a  lofty  ideal  of  kingship.  Ever  devot- 
ed to  the  service  of  God  and  the  quest  of  truth,  he  had  a 
real  affection  for  his  people  and  a  genuine  desire  to  establish 
a  just  and  efficient  government  He  exerted  himself  to  the 
utmost  to  promote  this  end.  His  ideal  of  kingly  duty  is 
well  reflected  in  his  sayings  : 

"  A  monarch  is  a  pre-eminent  cause  of  God.  Upon  his 
conduct  depends  the  efficiency  of  any  course  of  action. 
His  gratitude  to  his  Lord,  therefore,  should  be  shown 
in  just  government  and  due  recognition  of  merit ;  that  of 
his  people  in  obedience  and  praise." 

"  Tyranny  is  unlawful  in  every  one,  especially  in  a 
sovereign  who  is  the  guardian  of  the  world.  " 

"  Falsehood  is  improper  in  all  men  and  most  unseemly 
in  monarchs.  This  order  is  termed  the  shadow  of  God, 
and  a  shadow  should  throw  straight.  " 

Dr.  Vincent  Smith,  relying  upon  Jesuit  sources,  dwells 
at  length  upon  Akbar's  artfulness  and  duplicity  in  state  craft 


and  speaks  of  his  '  tortuous  diplomacy  and  perfidious 
action.  '  But  we  feel  much  relieved  to  read  in  his  work  a 
little  later  that  (Mgrtfljn  amount  Af  finQgq*  ™  inflvltahlft  in 
nd  politics,  and  that(Jiis  policy  was  not  more 

tortuous  than  that  of  the  European  princes  of  his 
The  same  learned  historian  goes  on  to  add  that  in  all  countries 
it  is  necessary  for  statesmen  to  practise  an  economy  of  truth, 
but  the  sense  of  racial  superiority  gets  the  better  of  his  judi- 
cial fairness,  and  leads  him  to  say  that  it  would  not  be  rea- 
sonable to  expect  an  Asiatic  potentate  like  Akbar  to  be  in 
advance  of  his  European  contemporaries  in  respect  of  straight 
dealing.  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  forgets  that  Akbar's  great  con~ 
t^mporarv  Elizabeth  lied  fthame1easlyT  and  Green  goes  so  far 
as  to  assert  that  in  the  profusion  and  recklessness  of  her  lies 
she  stood  w1'*1™^  a  pm*  in  Christendom. 

The  vile  methods  and  intrigues  of  other  monarchs  in 
France,  Spain  and  elsewhere  are  too  well  known  to  need 
mention.  Akbar  was  undoubtedly  superior  to  his  contem- 
poraries both  in  intellect  and  character,  and  his  policy  was 
far  more  humane  than  theirs.  Against  the  few  acts  of 
inhumanity  and  breach  of  faith  attributed  to  him  by 
Dr.  Smith,  it  is  possible  to  mention  a  hundred  deeds  of 
generosity  and  benevolence.  Accurate  and  impartial  re- 
search by  whomsoever  conducted  will  reveal  Akbar  to 
have  been  in  many  respects  a  greater  man  thap  his  Euro- 
pean contemporaries. 

The  greatest  title  of  Akbar  to  fame  is  his  policy  of 
religious  toleration.  He  was  tolerant  of  other  faiths.  No 
doctrinal  dissent  could  drive  him  into  fury  nor  could 
differences  of  opinion  make  him  lose  his  temper  or  disturb 
the  natural  serenity  of  his  philosophical  mind.  He  allowed 
JFathullah  Shirazi  who  was  a  Shia  to  say  his  prayers  in  the 


hall  of  audience  and  connived  at  his  practices,  because  he 
thought  it  good  to  encourage  a  man  of  talent.  On  the 
j&ygrgtri  dav  he  helfl  a  meeting-  Of  Higflu  ascetics  and  ate 
land  drank  with  them.  In  the  matter  of  worship  he  allowed 
the  utmost  freedom  to  non-Muslims.  He  never  countenanced 
forcible  conversions.  On  the  other  hand,  if  a  Hindu  had 
been  converted  to  Islam  by  force  in  his  childhood,  he  was 
allowed,  if  he  liked,  to  go  back  to  the  religion  of  his  fathers. 
JThere  was  a  standing  ordinance  of  the  emperor  to  the 

effect    that    TIP    nr^"    afrnnld    hp  intPrforpd  with   rm  jMwnfljt 

QfJiis-celigion,  and  every  one  should  be  free  to  settle  his 
own  convictions.  \  Another  "decree  laid  down  thaCif  the 
infidels  built  a  church  or  a  synagogue  or  an  idol  temple  or  a 
fire  temple,  no  one  should  molest  them.\  Himself  a  man 
of  catholic  views,  he  associated  with  the  learned  of  all  racea 
and  religions  and  comprehended  fully  the  meaning  of  their 
subtle  doctrines.  Abul  Fazl  tells  us  that  though  occa- 
sionally he  joined  public  worship  in  order  to  hush  the 
slandering  tongues  of  the  bigots  of  the  age,  his  ardent 
feeling  for  God  and  his  desire  to  know  the  truth  led  him 
to  practise  great  inward  and  outward  austerities.  This 
intimate  contact  with  the  learned  of  the  age  developed 
his  understanding  and  sharpened  his  intelligence  to  such 
an  extent  that  nobody  could  believe  that  he  was  illiterate. 
He  fully  realised  the  weakness  of  human  nature  and  used 
to  say  : 

"  It  is  my  duty  to  be  in  good  understanding  with  all 
men.    If  they  walk  in  the  way  of  God's  will   inter- 
ference with  them  would  be  in  itself  reprehensible  ; 
and   if  otherwise,    they   are     under  the    malady   of 
.    ignorance  and  deserve  my  compassion/' 


He  was  sincerely  religious  and  devoted  to  God,  so  much 
so  indeed,  that  Abul  Fazl  writes  that  he  '  passed  every 
moment  of  his  life  in  self-examination  or  in  adoration  of 
God/    Dr.    Vincent    Smith    greatly   underrates   Akbar's 
attempt  to   organise   a   religious   order   with   a   view  to 
unite  his    subjects    of    diverse   races   and   creeds.    One 
wishes  that  the  distinguished  historian  had  paid   a  just 
tribute  to  his  genius  for  proclaiming  the  Sulh-i-kid  _  (uni- 
versal  peace)  at  a  time  when  in  Europe   the   principle 
enforced  was  cujus  regio  ejua  religio.    From  the  diet  of 
Augsburg,  which  met  a  year  before  the  imperial  accession  to* 
the  Treaty  of  Westphalia  in  1648,  Europe  knew  no  peace,  and 
the  religion  of  the  subjects  was  regulated  by  the  state.  The 
dissenter  could  only  choose  between  submission  to  the  dic- 
tation of  the  civil  ruler  or  emigration  from  his  territorial 
bounds.  (JEven  in  Dr.  Smith's  own  country  during  the  reign 
of  Elizabeth  Protestantism  was  imposed  by  force  upon  the 
Irish  people.    Philip  II  of  Spain  who  was  a  bigoted  papist 
openly  declared  that  it  was  better  not  to  rule  at  all  than  to 
rule  over  heretics.^  A  comparison  of  European  monarchs 
with  Akbar  easily  establishes  the  superiority  of  the   latter 
both  in  genius  and  achievement,  and  there  is  no  warrant  for 
the  disparaging  remarks  which  Dr.    Vincent  Smith  makes 
under  the  cloak  of  judicial  impartiality.  Qta  mental  power 

Akbar    waSJIpdnnhfcedly  thft  pppr    nf  ^ 

All  things  considered,  h^  will  r^nk  a^o^g  thp 
Iginffs  of  historv.)and  his  claim  to  this  pre-eminent  position 
will  always  rest  upon  his  grand  and  original  intellect* 
force  of  character,  and  the  solid  results  of  his  statesman- 

The  Mughal  system  of  administration  was  not  original. 
The  methods  followed  all  over  the  Muslim  world  were 



those  of  the  Abbasid  Khalifas  of  Iraq   or   the   Fatimid 
Nature      of     #balif5s   of  Egypt.    But    when   the  early 
iiughai  Gov-     Turfcs  came  to  India,  their  ideas  became  inter- 
ernmen  .  fused  with  the  customs  and  usages  of  the 

country.  The  Hindus  continued  to  be  employed  in  the 
revenue  department,  and  their  customs  and  practices 
exercised  a  powerful  influence  on  administrative  arrange- 
ments. Prhe  Mughal  administration  was  therefore  a  mixture 
of  Indian  a^jforeign  elemerits,knd,  to  use  Professor  Sarkar's 
expressive  phrase,  it  was  '  Fe^o-Arabic^  systgiguii^Indian 
getting.*  Its  elaborate  organization  entailed  much  record- 
keeping,  and  required  the  monarch  to  be  constantly  vigilant. 
Butjtjvasnot  who^Jbarajd  on..  jgrce.  (There  was  partial 
acquiescence^  the  people,  because  the  new  government  was 
more  humane,  tolerant  and  Beneficent.  It  respected  social 
the  villages  to  enjoy  their  time-honoured 

right^of  ^elf  :gp  y  ernment  \ 

The  head  of  the  administration  was  the  king  himself. 

In  theory  he  had  unlimited  powers,  but  in  practice  he  always 

_,     tr.  deferred  to  the  wishes  of  those   who  were 

The  King. 

*  near  him  or  who  were  affected  by  his  decrees. 
Even  the  most  absolute  monarch  has  to  consult  the  wishes 
of  the  clique  that  supports  him.  (AJk^bar  was  an  autocrat  but 
~  '  ;  did  not  ^  jmjfrte  ^irresponsibility  A  His  methods 

llffered"  from  Itlibse  of  the  ~  rulers  of  tHe  pre-Mughal  days. 
At  a  very  early  age  he  was  complete  master  of  his  kingdom^ 
and  annomi^^a^dicy  which  w?is  based_upon  liberal  and 
hiunamteri^^inciplesr  The  dis^iiiities  imposed  upon  the 
UntJfeiievertirwere  removed,  and  the  admimstratfon!*^ 
the  Hindus  and  Muslims  alike  in  all  matters.)  There  was  no 
exclusion  from  the  offices  of  the  state  on  religious  grounds, 
and  the  Hindusjvere  granted  complete  liberty  of  worship. 


The  principle  of  religious  toleration  glided  the  policy  of 
Akbar  and  augmented  the  gloryjc)f  his  empire.  Some  of  his 
ablest  ministers  "  radln^rtSniii^  friends  were  Hindus,  and 
the  emperor  always  consulted  them  before  taking  action  in 
important  matters. 

|    Never  during  his  reign  did  he  levy  extra  tax$&}although 
his  pSpert^^rs^impliedTa  heavy  strain  on  his  resources. 

It  is  true  he  tried  jo  repress  the  bigotry  oi[the^  Ujama  but 
he  did  so  in  order  to  ~end  their  interference  in  political 
affairs.  Much  of  the  careful  organisation  which  he  effected 
to  govern  his  vast  empire  was  the  outcome  of  his  own 
genius.  He  was  often,  as  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  says,  the 
teacher  rather  than  the  pupifof  his  ministers^"  Hisbureau- 

•a^ttMUftMIUwM-*  w.^v4-**»          •  —*"•-•       "  ~     •"•        '       ^  -fc.—..*      -v_  t    ,^~        ,.«,„  tww^.^  ,„.   .,  KJ,..   g^^BM—  I  ml***m*mmi  i     n  m 

^retcyT  nal  f-ci  vil  ,  half-military  admirably  seryed.his  purpose, 
and  .  administrative  efficiency  reached  its  high,  water-mark 
for  the  first  time  under  Muhammadan  rufe.  /Th 

himself  was  the  guiding  spirit  oj^^ll  i^formsand  policies, 
and  it  was  his  master-mind  whichjjirasped  the  minutest 
details  of  government,^  and  made  possiWe^±0^snioofIi 
working  of  the  whole  machinery.  Below  the  kingjkhe. 
Vakil  was  Jthe_pJQ,ncigal  executive  officer.  He  was,  as 
it  were,  tl^oltgf^o  of  the  emperor  and  was  consulted  in 
all  matters.  This  office  was  in  the  early  years  held  by 
Bairam  Khan,  the  tutor  and  guardian  of  the^emperor.  f 

•  Organisation          ^he  chief  departments  of  the  Mughal 
^f  civil    Go-     government  were  :  — 


(1)    Finance  (under 

(2)    The  military,  Pay  and  Accounts  office  (under 
JheMir  Bakhshi). 

1  There  were  no  departments  like  those  of  the  British  Government 
in  those  days.    This  is  only  a  rough  classification  to  assist  clear  under* 


(3)  The  Imperial  Household  (under  the  Khan-i-Snmnn 

or  Lord  High  Steward). 

(4)  Judicial  (under  the  chief  Qazi  known  as  the 

ul-Quzm).  ~  ~   1 

(5)  Religious  endowments  and  charitable  grants  (under 

the  Sadr-i-Sudur). 

(6)  Censorship  of  Public  Morals  (under  the  Muhateify. 
Somewhat  inferior  to  these  were  the  following  :— 

(7)  Artillery  (under  the  Mir  "Atish  or  Darogha-i-Top- 

khanah).  J 

(8)  Intelligence  and  Posts  (under  the 


(9)    Mint  (under  its  own 

Abul  Fazl  describes  the  Diwan  as  the  emperor's 
lieutenant  in  all  financial  matters,  who  superintended  the 
imperial  treasuries  and  checked  all  accounts. 
f  Se  wai  the  head  of  the  revenue  department, 
ancTall  questions  pertaining  to  the  assessment 
and  collection  of  revenue  were  decided  by  himj  All 
revenue  papers,  returns  and  despatches  from  the  different 
parts  of  the  empire  were  ^gceived  in^ 

forjpaymftnt  except  those  regarding  petty  sums  of  money 
^ereinade  by  him^(The  Wazir  was  like  other  officers  a. 
nwwabctor,  i.e.,  holder  of  a  military  rank  in  the  armyA&nd 
sometimes  did  actually  command  armies,  though  usually  he 
had  to  remain  at  the  capital  by  reason  of  the  peculiar  nature 
of  his  business.") 

standing.    It  would  be  proper  to  name  the  powerful  officers  of  the- 
administration  and  to  detail  the  duties  assigned  to  them. 


f  There  was  no  clear  division  between_,the_ciyij  smd 
military  "branches  of  the  administration.  Every  civil 
^rfficer  jwras  a  mansabdar  in  the  iingerial 
^army/and  his  Vnatwaft  "determined  his  salary 
and  position  in  the  official  hierarchy.)  The 
salary  bills  of  all  officers  had  to  be  scrutinised  and 
passed  by  the  paymaster  of  the  army.  He  assigned  posts 
to  several  commanders  in  the  van,  centre  wings  and  rear 
guards  before  battle.  The  Ain  defines  the  Mir  .Bakb&hi 
as  an  officer  in  charge  of  the  personal  army  j>fjthe 
e  exercised  a  general  control  ~oveF  the  whole 
"and^saw  that  the  mansabdars  kept  their  horses  in 
the  proper  condition.  He  looked  after  the  recruitment 
of  soldiers  also. 

He  was  the  head  of  the  emperor's  household  estab- 

lishment, and  accompanied  him  during  his  journeys  and 

campaigns.    Blochmann    translates  him  JOB 

c£h  x  Kh?n'i:     Superintendent  of  Stores.  LHe  was  the  head 

SSmSn  or  Lord          -      -  -     ^     -.w—~~~~  —  -—"•-"*• 

High  steward.    j>f  ta&fijpaperor's  personal  fita&Lft& 

his  food,  tents  and  stores,  and  looked 
his  messing  arrangements.  N  According  to  Manucci  he  was  in 
charge  of  the  entire  expenditure  of  the  royal  household  in 
reference  to  both  great  and  small  things.  (The  office  of  the 
Khan-i-Sam&n  was  an  important  one,  and  only  men  of  trust 
were  appointed  to  it.S 

Qlejjrasjhe  highest  judicial  officer  of  the  realm  CQffe-. 
sponxfingto  the  LoVd  CHief  Justice  of  England)  The  emperor 
^~"  as  the  KhalifS  of  the  age  was  the  supreme 

°hief  in  all  cases,  but  generally  he  acted  a& 

the  highest  court  of  appeal.  \The 
the  ChiefJudge  in  criminal  cases  which  he  decided  accord- 
ing  to  Muslim.  I^w, 



(3)    The  N5zir-i-Buyutatl 

This  is  a  very  old  office.  It  had  existed  in  the  time  of 
the  Khiljis  and  Tughluqs.  In  old  times  the  state^  was^the 
mu  TUT  i.  ^-u  custodian  of  men's  life  and  property  as  well 

Tne  Munateib.          ^_--"^    — . — >***-* — - — -^-*r~-     .  _  *-,   ^     _  * 

as  their  morals. ---The  Muhatsib's  duties  were 

"**^^>^*^*^*-""*<Vs^-x*"~"^^'-'  ZZ-Jtllirff"1^  "**   "      - i.Mgmr--         mi  |          -  "i""  "^.l'"?* 

to  see  that  the  people  led  their  lives  in  accordance  with  the 
law  of  the  PropheU  to  put  down  the  practices ''con53emned 
in  ffife  Shariat,  ancf  in  general  to  prevent  immorality. 

^Besides  theseTKere i  were  many  otEer  officers^who  held 
responsible  positions  in  the  stateS   Some  of  these  are  :— 

(1)  TheMustaufi  ...    Auditor-General. 

(2)  The    Awarjah  Nawis    Superintendent      of      daily 

expenditure  at  the  court. 
Superintendent       of     the 

Imperial  Workshop. 
Revenue  Secretary. 
Chief  Admiral  and  Officer 

of  the  Harbours. 
Superintendent  of  Forests. 
Superintendent  of  the  Royal 

Superintendent  of  the  Royal 

Superintendent  of  the  Royal 


The  News-recorder, 
who  presented  all  petitions 

to  the  emperor  brought 

by  suitors  who  wished  to 

place    them  before  His 

1  Buyutat  is  derived  from  the  Arabic  word  bait  meaning  4  house.9 
This  officer  looked  after  the  workshops  and  also  registered  the  property 
of  deceased  persons  in  order  to  clear  their  accounts  with  the  state. 



The  Mushrif 
Mir  Bahri 

Mir  Barr 
Qur  Begi 

<8)    AkhtBegi 
(9)    Khwan  Salar 


The  Waqa-i-Nawis 
Mir  Arz 



Majesty.  At  one  time 
Mirza  Abdur  Rahim  was. 
appointed  as  the  principal 
Mir  Arz  of  the  realm. 

The  officer  who  was  responsible  for  maintaining  peace 
Kotwal.^His  duties  are  enumerated  at 
length  in  the  Ain, [   the  most  important  of 

Public  peace.  ,  .   , 

which  are:— 

(1)  to  keep  watch  at  night  and  patrol  the  city ; 

(2)  to  keep  a  register  of  houses  and  frequented  roads  ;. 

(3)  to  employ  a  spy  from  among  the  obscure  residents 

and  to    observe  the  income  and  expenditure  of 
the  various  classes ; 

(4)  to  discover  thieves  ; 

(5)  to  examine  weights  and  measures ; 

(6)  to  make  a  list  of  the  property  of  those  who  have 

no  heir  and  of  deceased  and  missing  persons. 

(7)  not  to  allow  a  woman  to  be  burnt  against  her  will 

and  to  prevent  circumcision  below  the  age  of  12*. 
There  are  many  other  duties  assigned  to  the  Kotwal 
Indeed,  the  catalogue  is  so  long  that  Professor  Jadunath 
Sarkar  is  inclined  to  think  that  the  passage  in  the  Ain 
represents  an  ideal  rather  than  an  actual  state  of  things* 
The  Eotwal  is  still  a  familiar  figure  in  big  cities  in  Northern 
India,lind  he  still  performs  most  of  the  duties  entrusted  to 
his  Mughal  prototype.  At  was  the  Kptwal's  duty  in  Akbar's 
day  tojprevent  and  detect  crime,  to  trace  the  whereabouts 
oTbffenders ^  and  to  look  after  the  daily  life  of  the  people  in 
the£ town.  Hejwas  to  discover  stolen  goods,  and  If  he  failed 
tcTdo  so  he  hadTtolnaEe'good  the  loss.)  He  had  to  patrol  at 

1  Jarrett,  II,  pp.  41—48. 


night  to  note  the  movements  of  strangers,  tosettheidleto  work 
and  to  fix  the  places  of  men  following  different  occupations 
in  the  town  such  as  butchers,  washermen,  etc^^This'macte 
the^Kotwal  unusually  alerJ^nd  he  became  a  terror  to  all 
vagabonds  and  tramps,  who  roamed  about  without  a$y 
jjjtensibleTm^  Espionage  is  an  inevitable 

corollary  of  despotism,  and  "the  Kotwal  employed  spies  to 
obtain  information  about  the  doings  of  the  people  in  the  city. 
Bri^erj^was  prevalent,  but  the  dread  of  the  emperor  exer 
cised  awE^som¥7estrainj^an  Jin  many  cases  the^Kotwals 

-discharged  their  (9^^s~w3r4go«nis  efficiency.^  Order  and 
^security  prevailed  in  cities.  ^Business  was_saf  e,  ^anJ^reign 
merchants  were  jy  ell  protects.  JThe  office  of  Kotwal  existed 
throughout  the  Mughal  ruJeriima  Manucci  has  described  its 
duties  from  personal  observation.  ' 

f  The  emperor  was  the  fountain  of  all  justice.     He^waa 

I  S^,  ,-^^~-  ---  -•"-      --  -       v  _  ~-       ~     .  „,-----  -—  .      r  _        --------  *~—  '  —  - 

the  higEest  court  of  appeal,  and  the  people  had  boundless  con- 
"  fidence  in  his  jusfice^;  HeTieard  original  suits 

biw*106  and  of  a  certain  VmH"as  well  as  appeals  ^ent  for  dis- 
posal by  provincial  governments.  I  On  a  fixed 
•day  all  people,  the  high  and  low,  were  permitted  to  enter  the 
Court  of  Justice  and  lay  their  complaints  before  him.  Even 
when  His  Majesty  was  on  tour,  he  held  his  court  reaularly 
^md  received  complaints  against  his  officials  also./  The 
Mir  Arz  had  to  be  present  at  the  palace  all  day  ana  night, 
<and  at  one  time  seven  Mir  Arzes  were  appointed  with 
Abdur  Rahim  as  the  Head  Mir  Arz,  because  one  mai)  could 
Tiot  cope  with  the  increased  volume  of  work. 

r  BeloyL.t^q  qpU^flO?a&lh£  Sadr-i-SudUr  who  decided 
-important  civil  cases  especially  of  a  religious    character. 

1  Storia  de  Mogar,  II,  pp.  420-21. 


The  yazi-ul-quz&t  was^&jiig&e^  ~ia  the 

realm,  who  was  responsible  for  the  efficient  administration 
<xf  justicO  There  were  no  law  courts  in  those  days  with 
•definite  codes  of  law  to  guide  the  presiding  officers.  (The 
functionaries  who  were  mainly  concernejLgjth.the  disposal  of 
cases  were—  ffiTRieQazi,  (tythejdufti> 

tt  expounded  the  law  ;  the  Qazi  investigated  the 
eviHence  ;  and  the  Miradl  delivered   tfie  "judgment.)  The 

<  '  *~*'V'MtHll**Hltt~<™<'*     >Jf 

Miradl  was  specially  enjoined  to  look  after  the  general 
interest  of  the  state  and  to  act  as  a  counterpoise  to  the 
'Qazi's  influence.  There  were  no  professional  lawyers, 
trained  in  law  and  conversant  with  social  usages  and  regula- 
tions of  the  state,  and  since  the  parties  had  to  plead  their 
cause  in  person,  we  may  presume  that  justice  was  not 
always  done  to  the  simple  villager  who  was  helpless  against 
a  rapacious  official  or  an  influential  opponent.  The  number 
of  Miradls  in  Akbar's  time  was  not  very  large.  They 
were  generally  associated  with  the  Qazis  who  were  more 
conservative  in  their  outlook  and  unresponsive  to  the 
larger  considerations  of  public  welfare.  At  one  time  the 
emperor  dismissed  all  reactionary  Qazis,  not  to  destroy  the 
Muslim  law  as  is  too  readily  assumed  by  his  orthodox 
critics,  but  to  induce  a  chastened  mood  in  judges  who 
considered  themselves  infallible. 

The  Qazi's    court  had  civil  and  criminal  jurisdiction 

^i^M.pJyifaWI  -----  **    """""  '  f->     H--"     "  «•*••*>»  •£.    ,     ,,„      Vf**J«    •<** 

tried  cases  of  both  Hindus  and  Muslims.  Bat  in  deciding 
thosif  cases  in  which  the  parties    were  Hindus,  he  was 

customYand  usages 

oFthe  Hindu  community.  It  does  not  appear  that  he  was 
supplied  with  any  official  agency  to  explain  the  Hindu 
customs,  but  there  is  evidence  to  show  that  such  usages 
were  respected  by  government.  The 


to  be   just,    honest,  and    impartial    and     to   hold   trials 
In  the  presence  of  parties    at    the  .Beat  of   the  court- 

House jmd  not  jnjuay~-priy,ate  place. /He  was  ordered  not 
to  accept  presents  or  to  attenB^Mfetammerits  given  _hy 
"Sit  Slid  sundry,  and  was  asked  to  be  proud  pf  his  poverty* 
Bui  IfcEese  Injunctions  were  more  honoured  in  the  breach 
than  in  the  observance.    Most  of  the  Qazis  were  haughty 
and  corrupt  and  gave  perverse  verdicts* 
***    There  was  no  written  code  of  law  which  the  judges, 
had  to  administer  in  Akbar's  empire.     The  Quran  was  the 
ultimate  authority  to  which  all  questions  had  to  be  referred. 
But  the  Quran  could  not  be  applied  to  all  conceivable  cases, 
and  therefore  its    provisions  were    supplemented  by  the 
Hadis  or  sayings  of  the  Prophet.    The  Fatwa*  or  decrees 
of  eminent  judges   or    the    Ulama  constituted     another 
source  of  law,   but  they  were  not  binding  upon  the  Qazi, 
who  might  or  might  not  accept  them.(  The  criminal  law 
was  the  same  for  ally  and  in  the  matted  of  punishmenfTno 
distinctjpns  were  made  on  religious  grounds".    IrTcivil  cases 
in  which  the  parties  were  Hindus  full  regard  was  paid  to 
their  customary  and  traditional  law,  and  the  Qazi  was 
expected  to  acquaint  himself  with  Hindu    usages.     The 
courts  had  to  follow  the  regulations  laid  down  by    the 
emperor  in  revenue  cases.    But  the  emperor  was  above  the 
law.  .-JBt^could^freely  annul_or  jeverse  the  decisions  of  his. 
judges-jyjio  were    always  careful  to  avoid  ~thfr"imperial 

fThejMnishments  inflicted  by  courts  were  often  severe^ 
Amputation  ofllmBs~v^irer^ 
could  not  be  inflicted  without  the  em^or'sSSifioK^There 

Was  no  regl^fiLMLsySt^fn,    an3H|nnj^1^ym^  pri'onnara  ^rg^ 

Confined  in  forts;    Those  who  were  guilty  of  particularly 



heinous  offences  were  thrown  into  dungeons,  and 
were  treated  with  great  rigour.  T  Fjnesjvere  jRQt^unknovn, 
^ndLirtjgertajr^  cases  exorbitant  demands  were  made  to 
meet  the  ends  JD£  jjistice.,  J 

Father  Monserrate's  account  of  the  King's  justice  is 
well  worth  quoting.  Here  is  a  summary  of  his  observa- 
tions :  - 

The  King's  regard  for  right  and  justice  in  the  affairs 
of  government  is  remarkable.  He  takes  a  very  strong  view 
of  errors  and  misdemeanours  committed  by  his  officials  in 
discharging  their  duties.  He  is  sincerely  anxious  that 
guilt  should  be  punished  without  malice  indeed  but  without 
undue  leniency.  All  important  cases  he  decided  himself, 
and  punishments  were  awarded  after  great  deliberation. 
Moral  offences  were  severely  dealt  with.  Seducers  and  adul- 
terors  were  either  strangled  or  gibbeted.  He  had  such  a 
hatred  of  debauchery  and  adultery  that  neither  influence 
nor  entreaties,  nor  the  great  ransom  which  was  offered 
would  induce  him  to  pardon  his  chief  trade  commissioner, 
who  had  outraged  the  rhodesty  of  an  unmarried  girl.  The 
wretch  was  remorselessly  strangled.  The  chief  executione 
was  provided  with  many  barbarous  instruments  to  inflict 
punishments  upon  malefactors,  but  no  one  was  actually 
punished  with  them,  and  they  seemed  to  be  intended  rather 
to  inspire  terror  than  for  actual  use. 

(  It;  ma3Lbe  said  that  jinder  Akb^^some^ol^th^  worst 
features  61  despotism  ,were  minimised.)  It  is  the  curse  of 
despotism  that  the  claims  of  men  of  merit  are 
always  ignored  or  neglected.   But  the  guiding 
maxim  of  Akbar's  government  like  that  of 
Napoleon    Bonaparte    in    France     was    'career  openjto- 
Able  men  from  distant  countries  of  Asia  ttune 
"F.  29 


to  India  in  search  of  employment,  and  found  shelter  at  his 

court.C  AlXthosewho  were  entitled  to  be  called  great  or 
noble  in  the  courftry^^^ 

Therewas  no  rank  or  dignity  outside  the  pale  of  the  im- 
perial service.    Appointment  to  every  post  rested  with  the 
emperor.    His  will  was  law.    He  could  elevate^  a.jna»-4o 
.ppsitjprL  straigfolway  ^without  jrafoTfTilg  ^him 
lower  ranks  or  degrade  a  man  from  the' 
highest  office  as  he  did  in  the  case  of  Shaikh  A&dunhabi.  3Br 
to  qualifications  there  was  no*  hard  and  fast  rule.    There 
was  no  specialisation  in  the  various  branches  of  the  ad- 
ministration, and  the  modern  device  of  testing  a  candidate's 
fitness  for    public    service  by   competitive    examinations 
was  altogether   unknown.\The  emperors  judgment  .was 
foe  jaole  jgRidgjr    Aliens  were  admitted  in  the  service,  and 
in  Akbar's  ti(pe  their  number  considerably  increased.  QNear- 
Iy_S£Kenty  per  cent  of  the  officers  were  foreignersNdescend- 
ants  of  families,   that  had  come  to  India  with  Humayun  or 
afterwards,  and  only  thirty  per  cent  of  them  were  Indians 
proper.    There  was  no  ban  on  the  Hindus.     Many  of  them 
entered  the  Imperial  service,  and  the  feverrue  department 
was  largely  manned  by  them.  (The  higher  posts  were  open 
only  to  the  Rajputs^  the  only  exceptions  being  Todarmal, 
Birbal  and  their  sons.    Officers  were  not  confined  to  duties 
of  one  kind  only.    They  were  transferred  by  the  emperor 
to  perform  duties  which  were  diametrically  opposite  to  the 
duties  of  the  office  which  they  actually  held.  JRaja  Birbal, 
a  court  wit,  was  sent  by  the  emperor  to  command  an  ex- 
pedition agamst  the  Yusufzais  with  fatal  results.    Abul 
Fazl  who  was  a  literary  man  par  excellence  was  sent  to 
the  Deccan  against  Bahadur  of  Khandesh,  and  Raja  Todgtr- 
Was  deputed  to  deal  with  the  insurgents  in  Bengal  and 



Bihar.  Abdur  Rahim  Khan-i-Khanan  won  his  early  spurs 
in  Gujarat  as  a  warrior,  (jt  segjatf^all  offices  were  inter- 
changeable^* There  were  no  rules  of  promotion  or  pension. 
Everything  depended  upon  the  emperor's  sweet  will.  ^Once 
a  man  joined  the  service,  he  was  sure  of  a  rise  and  was 
rapidly  promoted  from  grade  to  grade,  sometimes  at  once 
from  the  lowest  to  the  highest  .\The  highest  ambition  of 
every  aspiring  youth,  Hindu  oymuslim,  was  to  Jget  an 
opportunity  of  serving  the  state,  because  it  meanThonqur^ 
prestige,  and  higR"  emoluments,  and  tp  men  pf  talent  like 
ES'faTodarmal  it  afforded  ample  scope  for  the  exercise  gf^ 
their  special  genius.  But  there  was  one  serious  disability 
under  which  all  officers  of  the  state  laboured.  They  could 
eat,  drink  and  be  merry  and  amass  large  fortunes 
during  their  lifetime,  but  they  jsould  nj>t  Jransmit  their 
accumulated  hoards  to  their  children  after  death.  Almost 
inevitably,  the  son  of  ^a  noble  had  .to  begin  life  anew,  for 
the  property  of^  his  parent  lapsed  to  the  &feate,  hy_the 
law  of  escheat  Under  such  circumstances  ' 

grandees^  lived  luxurious  and  wasteful  lives,  and  lavishly 
Bgen^mon^^in.gwmg^b/ibes  to  secure  the  emperor's, 
favourT  As  Mr.  Moreland  rightly  observes  money 
saved  was  money  lost  unless  it  could  be  concealed 
from  the  knowledge  of  the  world.  Corruption  was 
rife,  and  other^  qualities  than  honesty  .were  needed  /to 
ensure  advancement  in  life.  These  were  readineg/  of 
speech,  capacity  for  ingratiating  one's  selL  wftj{  the 
clique  or  coterie  that  was  in  power  at  court.  AH  these 
circumstancesjireyented  the  rise  of  an^  independent  Jiere^ 
ditary  ari^crac^j^hich  ^erves  JLS  a,  check^pn^autocracy. 
Tfie  hope^that  the  law  ~  of  escheat  would  finally  lead  to 
-the  survival  of  the  fittest  proved  chimerical,  and  the 



mighty  Muslim  nobility,  Ldepriyed  of  its  patrimony,  became 
selfish,  unscrupuTous  M^jnediocre. 

sense^  before  .AkbaxJ  ^tlncter  Sher  Shah  the  whole  country 

was  divided  into  Sarkars  and  Parganas  with 

Provinc  i  a  i     their   own   officers   of    which   an   account 

A  d  m  i  nistra-      ,        ,  .  .  ,  TTT.,  i 

tion.  has  been  given  in  a  previous  chapter.    With 

Humayun's  restoration  a  fresh  arrangement 
became  necessary.  He  parcelled  out  the  whole  country 
among  his  generals,  but  the  system  did  not  work  well  in< 
practice  and  the  fief  holders  increased  their  lands  and  made 
attempts  to  shake  off  the  imperial  yoke./Akbar  abolished  the 
systemof  jagirs  and  divided  the  whole  empire  into  twelve 
SubaHsTjLater  when  Ahmadnagar  was  conquered,  three  more 
Subahs  -'were  added  thus  raising  the  total  to  fifteen.  /The 
Subah  was  a  replica  of  the  empire  in  every  respect,  aiuTthe 
^baTbdffwEo  was  officially  styled  as  the  Sipahsalar  enjoyed 
unlimited  powers,  while  he  remained  in  office 

provinces,  away  from  the  capital,  he  behaved  for  all  practical 
purposes  like  a  miniature  king./JThe  Subahs  were,  further 
divided  into  sarkars  and  parganas,  but  the  former  seem  to 
have  been  fiscal  andj^  jidmjr^st^  The  officers 

of  the  earkar  are  not  mentioned  in  the  Ain,  and  from  the 
manner  in  which  Abul  Fazl  speaks  of  the  Sarkar  we  may 
reasonably  conclude  that  it  was  an  aggregation  of  pargana* 
having  similar  customs  and  usages  for  revenue  purposes/T 
SipafaQl&r  was  the  head  of  the  Provincial 

1  The  Subahs  comprised  in  the  empire  were  — 

1-    Agra                           2.     I  la  bas  or  Allahabad  3,    Oudh 

j.     Velbi                          5.     Lahore      6.  Multan  7.     Kabul 

o.     Ajmer                        9.    Bengal  10      Bihar 

IL.     Ah  mad  ab  ad            12.     Malwa  13     Berar 

14.     Khandesh  16.    Ahraadnagar 

The  last  three  were  added  after  the  Deccan  conquest. 


and  had^Jbpth  civil    and    military..  Juoisdictipn^ 
usually  a  favourite  of  the  emperor  who.  had  risenj 

by  reason  of  his  meritorious  services  to  t&$  £tate*^,Age  did 
not  matter,  for  Aziz  Koka  and  Abdur  Rahim  were  elevated 
to  gubernatorial  positions  while  they  were  quite  young. 
The  Sipahatilftr  was  the  emperor's  representative  in  the  Su- 
bah,  and  the  Persian  writers  described  his  position  by  employ- 
ing a  significant  metaphor.  They  said  that  just  as  the  moon 
derives  its  light  from  the  sun  so  did  the  provincial  governor 
derive  his  authority  from  the  emperor.  Heh^ld.hiajowiLCOurt, 
but  he  could  not  sit  in  the  jarokha  or  .declare  war  or  peace 
withoutjthe  Qmpjeror'^.pujrmiSjSion.  Hgjyas  the  head  of  the 
Judicial  and  military  .  departments.  He  heard  appeals  from 

V—  ^~-         ~  "         "  {7 

the  decisions  of  theQazis  and  Miradls.  \  As  the  highest  mili- 
tary  officer  jiy;hejgro^ 

forces^  and  was  responsible  ior  their  maintena^cevand  proper 
equipment.  He  could  appoint  and  dismiss  all  his  st^  except 
the  officers  Tri  '  the  higher  gradjes/lSle  was  not  aHowgdJo 
interfere  jnj^i&i^  any  religious 

question  requiring  settlement,  it  w^jreferrjed^tojbhe  Sadr 
or  other  officers.  Though  head  of  the  judiciary  ^ 

inflict  capital  ^i^i^r^jjyj^pjgt^  sanction. 

He~TTeptTa    large  number    of  spies 

with  information  of  all  kinds  about  the  people  within  his 


_     Below  him  were  (1)  the  Diwan,  (2)  the  Sadr,  (3)  the 

Amil  or  revenue  collector,  (4)  the  Bitikchi,  (5)  the  Potdar  or 

Khizandar,  (6)  the  Faujdar,  (7)  the  Kotwal,  (8)  the  Waqa- 

i-naufl*,  and  (9)  other  officers  of  the  revenue  department 

like  the  qanungo  and  the  patwari. 

(1)  Diwan.—  Next  in  importance  is  the  Diwan  who 
was  the  rival  of  the  SipahscLl&r.    Formerly  the  provincial 


Diwans  were  selected  by  the  governor  himself,  but  in  1579* 
when  the  crown  lands  had  greatly  increased,  the  appoint- 
ments were  made  by  the  central  government.  The  Diwan'& 
duty  was  to  watch  the  conduct  of  the  SipahsalUr  and  to 
co-operate  with  him  in  running  the  administration.  He 
possessed  the  power  of  the  purse,  and  all  bills  of  payment 
were  signed  by  him.  He  tried  all  revenue  cases  except 
those  in  which  his  department  was  concerned.  Where 
there  was  a  difference  of  opinion  between  the  Subahdar 
and  the  Diwan.  the  matter  was  referred  to  the  central 
government.  The  Diwan  acted  as  a  check  on  the  governor 
and  prevented  the  latter  from  becoming  too  powerful. 

(2)  Sadr. — The  provincial  Sadr  was  appointed  by  the 
central   government  and  his  chief  duty  was  to  govern  the 
Sayurghals.    He  was  more  independent  than  the  Diwan 
in  his  relations  with  the  Sipahsalnr  and  had  a  separate 
office  of  his  own.  As  the  Sadr  was  generally  a  man  of  piety 
and  learning,  and  could  grant  lands  and  allowances  on  his 
own  initiative,  he  was  held  in  great  esteem  by  the  people. 
The  Qazis  and  Miradls  were  under  him 

(3)  The  "Amil  or  the  revenue  collector.— Probably  the 
description  of  the  collector  in  the  Ain  represents  an  ideal 
state  of  things,    but  his  functions  are  clearly  indicated. 
The  ~Amil  had  multifarious  duties  to  discharge.     He  was 
asked  to  deal  with  the  refractory  severely,  without  the  least 
apprehension  of  the  land  remaining  uncultivated.    He  was 
to  ascertain  the  quality  of  the  land  actually  under  culti- 
vation and  to  reclaim  the  waste  lands.     He  was  also  to  as- 
sist in  the  maintenance  of  the  general  peace  by  punishing 
highway  robbery  and  other  like  crimes,  and  was  to  show 
consideration  to  peaceful  and  law-abiding  citizens.    He  was 
to  take  security  from  land  surveyors,  assessors,  and  other 


officers  and  was  to  see  that  in  measuring  the  land  not  a 
bigha  was  concealed  or  overlooked.  The  revenue  was  to 
be  collected  in  an  amicable  manner,  and  the  treasurer  was 
not  to  demand  an  extra  coin  from  the  husbandmen.  The 
'Amil  was  to  examine  the  registers  maintained  by  the 
Karkun,  the  muqaddam  and  the  patwari  and  to  report,  if 
any  untoward  event  affecting  cultivation  happened  in  his 
jurisdiction.  He  was  to  submit  monthly  statements  regard- 
ing the  condition  of  the  people,  the  jagirdars,  the  residents 
of  the  neighbourhood,  the  market  prices,  the  current  rates 
of  tenements,  etc.  He  was  required  to  tour  in  the  country 
and  warned  not  to  make  his  visits  an  occasion  for  exacting 
money  or  receiving  presents  from  the  peasantry. 

(4)  The  Bitikchi. — He  was  of  the  same  status  as  the 
"&mil  and  served  as  a  check  on  him.    He  supervised  the 
work  of  the   Qanungos  and  was  required  to  be  a  good 
writer  and  a  skilful  accountant.    He  was  expected  to  be 
fully  acquainted  with  the  customs  and  regulations  of  the 
district  in  his  charge  and  was  to  keep  a  record  of  all  engage- 
ments entered  into  by  the  peasant  with  the  government. 
It  was  also  his  duty  to  prepare    detailed  statements  of 
arable  and  waste  land  and  of  income  and  expenditure.    He 
made  revenue  abstracts  every    season  and  submitted  an 
annual  report  to  the  court. 

(5)  The  Potdar  or  Khizandar.—He  was  to    receive 
money  from  the  cultivators  and  to  keep  the  treasure  of 
the  state  securely  locked.     He    issued  receipts  for  every 
payment  and  kept  a  ledger  to  avoid  mistakes  in  accounts. 
He  was  ordered    not  to  make  any    payment    without  a 
voucher  signed  by  the  Diwan. 

(6)  The  Faujdar.-As  a    subordinate  and  assistant, 
writes  Abul  Fazl,  the  Faujdar  holds    the    first   place. 


He  was  the  commander  of  the  provincial  forces  and  assist- 
ed the  Subahdar  in  maintaining  peace  and  discharging  his 
executive  functions.  There  were  several  Faujdars  in  a 
province,  who  held  charge  of  a  number  of  parganas. 
When  the  found  difficulty  in  realising  the  state  reve- 
nue from  a  defaulting  or  refractory  village,  the  Faujdar 
was  to  furnish  military  aid  but  only  on  a  written  re- 
quisition. His  appointment  or  dismissal  rested  with  the 
Subahdar  whom  he  was  to  assist  in  every  way  The 
Faujdar's  duties  were  of  a  military  character  and  as  Prof. 
J.  N.  Sarkar  writes,  "he  was  the  only  commander  of  a 
military  force  stationed  in  the  country  to  put  down  smaller 
rebellions,  disperse  or  arrest  robber  gangs,  take  cogniz- 
ance of  all  violent  crimes,  and  make  demonstrations  of 
force  to  overawe  opposition  to  the  revenue  authorities  or 
the  criminal  judge  or  the  censor.1' 

(7)  The  Kotwal. — The  KotwaVs    duties  are  described 
at  length  in  the  Ain.    He  was  essentially  a  police  officer 
of  the  towns,   but  also  exercised  magisterial  authority  in 
certain  cases.     He  was  responsible  for  the  maintenance  of 
law  and  order  in  cities,   and  had  several  assistants  under 
him  to  secure  this  end.    His  important   functions     have 
already  been  mentioned  in  discussing  the  central  government. 

(8)  The    Waqa-i-Na/wis  or  recorder  of  occurrences. — 
These  were  officers  through  whom  the    central  govern- 
ment kept  itself  in  touch  with  provincial  administration. 
When  the  provincial  viceroy  held  his  court,   this  officer 
recorded  the  occurrences  on  the  spot,  and  forwarded  his 
letters  to  the  imperial  government.    It  was  through  these 
officers  that  the  emperor  kept  himself  informed  of  every- 
thing that  occurred  in    the    provinces.    They    continued 
throughout    the    Mughal     period     and    acquired    much 


importance  under  Aurangzeb.  who  booked  upon  them  as 
his  eyes  and  ears.     The  following  advice  given  to  a  newly 
-appointed     Waqa-i-Nawia    will    show    what    his    duties 
were  :— 

Report  the  truth,  lest  the  emperor  should  learn 

the  facts  from  another  source  and  punish  you.    Your 

work  is  delicate  ;   both  sides  have  to  be  served.     Deep 

sagacity  and  consideration   should  be  employed  so  that 

both  the  Shaikh  and  the  book  may  remain  in  their  proper 

places.  In  the  words  of  most  of  the  high  officers,  forbidden 

things  are  done.     If  you  report  them  truly,   the  officers 

will  be  disgraced.     If  you  do  not,   you  yourself  will  be 

undone.  Therefore,  you  should  tell  the  Lord  of  the  Ward 

'In  your  ward  forbidden  things  are  taking    place,  stop 

them/    If  he    gives  a  rude  reply,  you  should  threaten 

the  Kotwal  of  the  ward  by  pointing  out   the  misdeed. 

The  lord  of  the  ward    will  then  know  of  it.    Although 

the  evil  has  not  yet  been  removed  from  the  ward,  yet, 

if  any  one  reports  the  matter  to  the  Emperor,  you  can 

easily  defend  yourself  by  saying  that  you  have  informed 

the  master  of  the  ward  and  instructed  the  Kotwal.     In 

every  matter  write  the  truth,  but  avoid  offending  the 

nobles.  Write  after  carefully  verifying  your  statement/' 

Besides  these  there  were  many    other    officers    who 

*  carried  on  the  work  of  administration  in  the  provinces. 

These  were  the  KZrkuns,  the  Qanungos  and  the  Patwaris 

who  were  all  revenue  officers.    The   Qanungo  was  a  Par- 

.gana  officer  acquainted  with  all  rural  customs  and  rights  of 

the  peasantry.    His  pay  ranged  between  20  and  25  rupees. 

The  parganas  were  divided  into  villages,  and  each  village 

*had  a    muqaddam    (headman)  and  a  patwari  who  kept 

records   of   revenue.     The    muqaddam  is  an  old  officer 


well-known  in  Indian  history.  His  function  was  to  keep* 
order  in  the  village  and  to  help  in  the  collection  of  the  state 

The  courts  of  justice  were  pretty  much  the  same  as 
at  the  capital.  The  Qazi  assisted  by  the  Mufti  and  the- 
Miradl  administered  justice  to  the  people. 
titn^f  Justlct  (  The  Subahdar  was  the  highest  court  of  appeal 
Mn  the  province.  When  there  was  a  differ- 
ence of  opinion  between  the  judicial  officers,  the  decision  of 
the  central  government  was  final.)  The  Kotwal  was  to 
bring  the  offenders  to  the  court,  and  trials  were  to  be  held 
promptly/  No  culprit  could  be  detained  in  prison  for 
more  than  one  night  without  a  trial.f  Appeals  could  be  made 
to  the  emperor  in  important  cases,  but  their  number  cannot 
have  been  very  large.  * 

fThe  administration  was  a  carefully  devised  system  of 
checks  and  counterchecks,  but  most  of  these  were  in  prac- 
tice illusory.)  The  long  distances,  the  absence 
°*  means  °f  communication,  and  the  stress  of 
war  made  it  impossible  for  the  emperor  to 
exercise  vigilant  control  over  the  provincial  satraps.  (They' 
acted  on  their  own  responsibility,  and  though  theirvpower 
was  limited  in  theory,  they  enjoyed  ample  discretion}  Bri- 
bery was  common,  and  offence's  gilded  hand  not  infre- 
quently succeeded  in  stifling  justice  even  in  cases  where 
prompt  redress  was  necessary.  { 

The  first  Muslim  ruler,  who  made  a    systematic  /larfd 
was Sher •Shahfyvho  laid  down  the    main  principles^ 
jvjjfefr werg  followed  in  the    time  of_Akbar. 
Revenue  ^8y8-    fhe  state  demand  was  fixed  at  one-thin}/  and* 
Akbar.  regulations  were  devised  for  the  collection    of 

the  revenue,  of  which  an  account  has  already 


been  given*  But  Sher  Shah's  regime  was  too  short-lived1 
to  put  the  whole  system  in  working  order.  Much  of  the 
excellent  work  that  had  been  done  by  him  was  upset  during 
the  anarchy  that  followed  after  his  death,  and  the  laws 
which  he  had  made  fell  into  disuse.  (When  Humayun  was 
restored  to  the  throne,  the  empire  was  divided  into  twa 
parts  -  the  Khalsa  or  crown  land  and  Jagir  landA  A  large 
portion  of  the  empire  was  cut  up  in  jagirs  held  by  his. 
nobles  and  amirs  who  paid  a  stipulated  amount  to  their 
patron  and  emperor.  The  Khalsa  land  seems  to  have 
followed  the  time-honoured  practice  of  crop  division. 

difficulty  was  felt  because  the  empire  was  rather  small, 
and  its  problems  were  of  a  simple  nature.  ,; 

Akbar's  accession  to  the    throne  marked  a  new  era 
in  the  history  of  administrative  reform.    Like  everything 

else  the  revenue  department  also   felt   the 
^ffort^'8  earl7     master's  touch.  When  Khwaja  Abdul  Majid 

Khan  became  Diwan,  the  total  revenue  was 
taken  after  estimate,  and  the  assignments  were  increased 
as  the  caprice  of  the  moment  suggested.  An  attempt  was 
made  to  fix  roughly  the  revenue  of  the  various  aarkars, 
and  to  ascertain  the  prices  of  food-stuffs,  but  no  appreciable 
success  was  achieved.  (More  definite  steps  were  taken  to 
settle  the  revenue,  (when  Muzaffar  Turbati  became  Diwan 
in  the  15th  year  of  the  reign.  With  the  help  of  Todarmal 
he  tried  to  organise  the  whole  systemJ^Ten  Qanungos 
were  appointed  to  collect  the  data  relating  to  the  revenue 
matters  and  were  asked  to  find  out  the  exact  nature  of  the 
land  tenure^)  The  assessment  was  to  be  made  on  the  basis 
of  the  estimates  furnished  by  the  provincial  Qanungos, 
which  were  revised  and  checked  by  the  ten  Qanungos, 
at  the  imperial  headquarters.  These  labours  produced  no- 


important  results,  because  the  whole  scheme  was  interrupted 
by  the  Uzbeg  rebellion.  ^When  Gujarat  was  conquered  in 
1573,  Todarmal  was  sent  to  bring  about  a  peaceful  settle- 
ment of  the  country.^  He  carried  out  for  the  first  time  a 
regular  survey  of  land,  and  the  assessment  was  made  after 
taking  into  consideration  the  area  and  quality  of  land. 
In  1575  the  whole  empire  was  brought  under  the  exchequer 
with  the  exception  of  Bengal  and  Bihar,  and  the  Jagirs  were 
abolished.  (The  whole  area  included  in  the  empire  at  that 
time  was  divided  into  182  parganas,  each  of  which  yielded 
a  crore  a  year  as  revenue.  The  officers  placed  in  charge  of 
these  parganas  were  called  Crories^  They  seem  to  have 
been  greedy  and  corrupt  officers,  and  were  severely  punished, 
for  their  malversation  by  Todarmaly  It  appears  that  after 
some  time  their  office  was  abolishedjor  held  in  abeyance,  for 
there  is  no  mention  of  them  in  theZin.  Abul  Fazl  is  silent 
about  them  either  because  they  had  ceased  to  exist  at  the 
time  when  he  wrote  his  work,  or  because  they  were  corrupt 
officers,  and  therefore  deserving  of  contemptuous  omission. 
'But  they  are  again  mentioned  in  the  time  of  Jahangiii  which 
shows  that  they  continued  to  serve  in  the  revenue  depart- 

(The  revenue  system  was  thoroughly  reorganised,  when 
Todarmal  was  appointed  to  the  office  of  DiwQn-i-Ashraf 
in    the    year   1582.  ^The   increased  size  of 
Todarmai's     the    empire   made  some   reform   inevitable^ 

Reforms.—  The       „.  ,  ,  .        ,      ,    ,  „         . 

3abti  system.  Hitherto  the  practice  had  been  to  fix  the 
assessment  every  year  on  the  basis  of  yield 
and  prices  which  made  the  demand  variable  from  year  to 
year.  The  collectors  could  not  proceed  with  their  work 
until  the  officers  at  the  headquarters  had  fixed  the  rates  to 
be  demanded  from  the  ryot.  To  obviate  the  difficulty  and 


inconvenience  caused  by  the  yearly  assessment,  Todarma! 

laid  down    the    following  principles    which    Abul    FazJ 
describes  in  these  words  :— 

"When  through  the  prudent  management  of  the 
Sovereign  the  empire  was  enlarged  in  extent,  it  became 
difficult  to  ascertain  each  year  the  prices  current  and 
much  inconvenience  was  caused  by  the  delay.  On  the 
one  hand,  husbandmen  complained  of  excessive  exac- 
tions, and  on  the  other  hand,  the  holder  of  assigned 
lands  was  aggrieved  on  account  of  the  revenue  balances. 

His  Majesty  devised  a  remedy   for    these  evils  and 

in  the  discernment  of  his  world-adorning  mind  fixed  a 

settlement  for  ten  years  ;  the  people   were  thus  made 

contented  and  their  gratitude  was  abundantly  manifested. 

From  the  beginning  of    the  15th  year  of  the   Divine 

Era    (1570-71  A.D.)    to  the    24th    (1579-80  A.D.),     an 

aggregate  of  the  rates  of  collection    was  formed  and 

a  tenth  of  the  total  was  fixed  as  the  annual  assessment  ; 

but  from  the  20th  (1575-76)   to  the  24th,    an  aggregate 

of  the  rates  of  collection  was  formed,   and  a  tenth  of 

the  total  was  fixed  as  the  annual  assessment  ;  but  from 

the  20th  to  the  24th  year  the  collections  were  accurately 

determined  and  the  five  former  ones   accepted  on  the 

authority  of  persons  of  probity.    The  best  crops  were 

taken  into  account  in  each  year,   and  the  year  of  the 

most  abundant  harvest  accepted,  as  the  table  shows."1 

To  obviate  the  difficulty  and  inconvenience  caused  by 

the  yearly  assessment  His  Majesty  ordered  '  the  ten-year 

assessment '  and  not  as  Jarrett  translates  (Ain  II,  p.  88> 

the  decennial  settlement.  There  was  no  decennial  settlement 

1  Ain  II,  p.  88,  Ain,    16. 


as  is  generally  supposed.    What  Todarmal  did  was  to  fix  the« 
assessment  by  averaging  the  assessments  for  ten  years,  i.e., 
from  the  15th  to  the  24th  year  (157—189)  of  the  reign. 

The  survey  (Paimaiah)  of  the  entire  land  under  culti- 
vation was  carefully  done.  Formerly  hempen  ropes  were 
used  which  were  liable  to  contract  or  lengthen,  when  the 
atmosphere  was  heated  or  moist.  Todarmal  used  a  Jarib 
of  bamboos  joined  together  by  iron  rings.  ^Land  was  divid- 
ed into  four  classes)  — 

(1)  Polaj  which  was  annually  cultivated  for  each 

crop  in  succession  and  was  never  allowed 
to  be  fallow.  This  was  land  under  con- 
tinuous cultivation  and  yielded  revenue 
from  year  to  year. 

(2)  Parauti  which  was  occasionally  left  fallow  in 

order  to  recover  its  strength. 

(3)  Chachar  which  remained  fallow  for  three  or 

four  years. 

(4)  Ban  jar  which  remained  uncultivated  for  five 

years  or  more. 

The  first  two  classes  of  land,  namely,  the  Polaj  and 
Parauti  were  divided  into  three  grades— good,  middling  and 
bad  according  to  their  yield.  The  average  of  the  three  was 
to  be  the  estimated  produce  which  was  to  be  taken  as  the 
basis  of  the  assessment.  It  will  be  clear  by  an  illustration. 

Here  is  land  Class  (I)  producing  wheat  :— 
good  :  20  mds.  per  bigha 
middling  :  15  mds.  per  bigha 
bad  :  10  mds.  24  srs.  per  bigha 
Total  :  45  mds.  24  srs.    One-third  of  this  is  15  mds. 
8  srs.  which  was  the  estimated  average  produce 


,  (mahaul)  and  of  this  one-third  i.e.,  5  mds.  2i  srs. 

was  to  be  fixed  as  the  state  demand. 

The  other  two  classes  of  land  were  dealt  with  different- 
ly. As  they  were  not  on  a  par  with  the  first  two  classes 
in  point  of  quality  or  produce,  their  revenue  was  to  be  in- 
creased by  progressive  stages. 

Having  ascertained  the  average  produce,  it  was  neces- 
sary to  fix  the  state  demand  in  cash  or  as  we  might  say  to  fix 
the  cash  rates.  It  will  be  remembered  that  the  old  practice 
was  to  commute  the  produce  into  cash-rates  according  to 
the  prices  current  at  the  time,  but  this  was  very  trouble- 
some as  the  periodical  ascertainment  of  cash-rates  entailed 
much  unnecessary  expenditure  and  caused  a  lot  of  delay  in 
collections,  \£odarmal's  solution  of  this  difficulty  was  to 
fix^  cash-rates  on  the  average  of  ten  years'  actualg)  Abul 
Fazl  tells  us  in  the  Ain,  how  it  was  done.  He  says  : 

' '  From  the  beginning  of  the  15tb  year  of  the 
Divine  Era  to  the  24th  an  aggregate  of  collection  was 
formed  and  a  tenth  of  the  total  was  fixed  as  the 
annual  assessment  ;  but  from  the  20th  to  the  24th  year 
the  collections  were  actually  determined  and  the  five 
former  ones  were  accepted  on  the  authority  of  persons 
of  probity.01 

(The  share  of  the  statef  was  unalterably  fixed  at  one-third) 
It  was  no  longer  liable  to  fluctuation  year  after  year.  The 
farmer  was  given  the  option  of  paying  (in  cash  or  kind.^ 
The  cash-rates  were  fixed  by  state  officers,  and  they  were 
different  for  different  crops.  The  rates  for  sugarcane 
and  indigo,  for  example,  were  different  from  the  rates 
for  wheat  and  barley. 

1  AinII,p.88. 


The  process  may  be  summed  up  thus  : 
When  the  season  arrived,  a  staff  of  officers  toured  in  the 
villages  to  ascertain  the  exact  area  of  land  under  cul- 
tivation with  a  view  to  prepare  the  crop-statement. 
The  area  of  each  crop  in  each  holding  having  been  found 
out,  the  Bitikchi  applied  the  prescribed  rates  and  cal- 
culated the  revenue  due  from  the  cultivator.  I/" 

\This  was  called  the  Zabti  system  of  assessment.Jy  It 

prevailed  in  the  Subahs  of  Bihar,  Allahabad,  Multan,  Oudh*. 

Agra,   Malwa,  Delhi,  Lahore^ and  in  certain 

Various  sys-     parts  Of  Ajmer  and  Gujarat.  \  The  essence  of 

terns   of  reve-  ,        V      \ 

nue.  it   was^that  each  plot  oX  land  was  to    be 

\  ~""\ 

Charged  with    a  fixed  assessment  in   cash) 

which  was  determined  according  to  the  nature  of  the  crop. 
Besides,  (there  were  other  systems  of  assessment  prevalent 
in  the  empire])  These  were  the  Ghallabakhsha  and  Nasaq 
and  certain  others  of  which  we  find  mention  in  the 
contemporary  records.  \The  Ghallabakhsha  was  the  old 
Indian  system  of  assessment  by  crop  division)  and  it 
prevailed  in  Thatta  and  parts  of  the  Subahs  of  K!abul  and 
Kashmir.  \The  Nasaq  was  a  ryotwari  rather  than  a 
Zamindari  arrangementN  In  this  system  there-  was  no 
intermediary  between  tfie  ryot  and  the  state.\  None  of 
these  had  the  same  elaborate  organisation  as  the  Zabti 
system  which  prevailed  in  the  greater  part  of  the 

1  The  Zabti  system  prevailed  very  largely  in  Bihar,  Allahabad, 
Oudht  Agra,  Malwa,  Ajmer,  Delhi,  Lahore,  Multan  and  parti  of 

The  reader  will  bear  in  mind  that  there  was  no  uniform  system 
of  land  revenue  in  the  empire.  But  the  administrative  ideal  is  to  be 
found  in  the  Zabti  system. 



^Farming   was   not   allowed^  The    government    dealt 
directly  with  the  agriculturists.    The  "Amil  or  the  revenue 
Officers      of     c°Nectx>r  was  assisted  by  the  Bitikchi,  the 
Revenue   De-     Potdar,  the   Qanungo,  the  Patwari  and  the 
partment.  Muqaddams,  whose  duties  have  been  describ- 

ed before.  The  instructions  issued  to  these  officers  reveal 
the  emperor's  solicitude  for  the  well-being  of  the 
peasantry.  Much  of  what  Abul  Fazl  says  may  be  an  ideal, 
but  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  peasant  was  looked  upon 
as  an  object  of  tender  care  and  sympathy A^In  times  of 
drought  advances  were  made  to  the  cultivators  and 
public  works  were  constructed  to  afford  relief 
to  the  poor.^  Remissions  were  also  made  and  there 
is  a  Sikh  tradition  that  Akbar  once  remitted  the  revenue 
of  the  Punjab  at  the  instance  of  Guru  Arjuna.  (The  collec- 
tor was  ordered  to  collect  the  revenue  in  an  amicable 
manner,  and  '  not  to  extend  the  hand  of  demand  out  of 
season.'^)  The  peasant  could  pay  his  rent  into  the  treasury 
himself,  and  the  treasurer  was  not  to  demand  a  single  extra 
coin.  The  Patwari  was  to  give  a  detailed  receipt  stating 
the  amount  of  rent  and  the  area  of  land  cultivated  and 
the  name  of  the  village  to  which  the  cultivator  belonged. 

Reviewing    the    revenue     administration     of    Akbar 
.  Dr.  Vincent  Smith  writes  :    "  In  short,  the  system  was  an 

admirable  one.}  The  principles  were  sound, 
re"     and  the  Practical  instructions  to  officials  all 

that  could  be  desired.  But  a  person  wha 
has  been  in  close  touch,  as  the  author  has  been,  with  the 
revenue  administration  from  top  to  bottom,  cannot  help- 
feeling  considerable  scepticism  concerning  the  conformity, 
of  practice.with  precept.  " l  Now  this  is  a  mere  surmise^ 

1  Akbar,  pp.  866-67 
F.  80 



There  are  no  specific  instances  cited  by  Dr.  Smith  to  prove 
that  the  revenue  administration  worked  to  the  detriment 
of  the  ryot,  and  in  his  anxiety  to  prove    that  Akbar's 
administration  was  in  no  way  better  or  more  beneficent 
than  the  Anglo-Indian  administration  of  which  he  was  such 
a    brilliant    member,    he  draws  the  inference    that  the 
benevolent  intentions  of  the  autocrat  were  commonly  de- 
feated   by    his  governors   in  the  provinces.     Dr.  Smith 
may  be  excused  this  natural  and  perhaps  legitimate  vanity. 
But  there  is  nothing  to  support  the  statement  of  Anglo- 
Indian  historians  that  Todarmal's  system  was  devised  to 
prevent  the  state  from  being  defrauded  rather  than  to 
protect  the  interests  of  the  ryot.    The  pages  of  the  Ain 
are  replete  with  information  regarding  the  details  of  the 
revenue  system,  and  it  appears  that  on  the  whole  it  worked 
well,  and  took  sufficient  care  of  the  interests  of  the  people. 
An  ounce  of  fact  is  worth  a  ton  of  theory.     Born  and  bred 
among  the  peasantry    of    the    United    Provinces  where 
Dr.  Vincent  Smith  spent  the  best  part  of  his  life,  the  present 
Writer  can  affirm  from  his  own  experience  that  the  con- 
dition, of    the    peasantry  has    considerably    deteriorated 
during  the  last  40  years.  There  must  have  been  abuses  in 
Akbar's  day  as  they  are  now,  and(those  who  have  any 
experience  of  village  life  must  have  seen  people  beaten  and 
kicked  by  the  underlings  of  the  revenue  department  even 
in  these  days  when  the  Taqavi  l